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City of Lies: Love, Sex, Death, and the Search for Truth in Tehran – Ramita Navai

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City of Lies: Love, Sex, Death, and the Search for Truth in Tehran

Drawn from conversations whispered across tables in the cafes that line Vali Asr, Tehran’s pulsing central thoroughfare, Ramita Navai gives voice to the unforgettable lives of ordinary people forced to live extraordinary lives in modern Tehran: the porn star, the ageing socialite, the assassin and enemy of the state who ends up working for the Republic, the religious militiaman who undergoes a sex change, the dutiful housewife who files for divorce, and the old-time thug running a gambling den.Rich, absorbing and exotic, this is an insider’s glimpse into the local personalities, the unremarkable busy bodies and hysterical intrigues buzzing about the city like you’ve never seen before. This is a place where Mullahs visit prostitutes, cosmetic surgeons restore girls’ virginity and homemade porn is bought and sold in the bazaars. Here, survival depends on an intricate network of lies and falsehoods. Far removed from the picture of Tehran we glimpse in news stories, we are shown another city—a hidden city—but a far more honest one.

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