Maryam’s Diener’s latest novel BEYOND BLACK THERE IS NO COLOUR is published on 27 February. With the rise of mainstream feminist-oriented publishing and the debate around fourth-wave feminism being very much in the zeitgeist, the time is right to (re)introduce the Iranian poet Forough Farrokhzad to British readers.
In the News
BEYOND BLACK THERE IS NO COLOUR will be included in Edmund de Waal’s “Library of Exile” opening at the British Museum on 11 March
The New York City Ballet’s new ballet, VOICES, which recently premiered at the David H. Koch Theater, features “Ms. Phelan, dancing to the voice of the Iranian poet and film director Forough Farrokhzad, is pulled in one direction and then the other as her willowy arms come to life in ways that her legs are used to doing.”
Ask the Author 5 Questions: Maryam Diener
Your top tips to share with aspiring authors?
“Writing is a way to understand any subject better. Keep writing. Don’t get carried away by your own work and go on criticising yourself. Be honest with yourself.”
A book that changed your life?
In Praise of Shadows by Junichiro Tanizaki. Books are more than just information: they have always been and remain rich cultural objects.
Five favourite prose authors?
James Baldwin, Stefan Zweig, Jean Genet, Etel Adnan, Joan Didion.
Five favourite authors translated into English?
Mohamed Choukri translated by Paul Bowles; François Cheng , The first foreign Academician in France; Octavio Paz; Javier Marías; Marguerite Yourcenar.
Five favourite feature films?
The Fugitive Kind, Sidney Lumet
Pina, Wim Wenders
Alphaville, Jean-Luc Godard
Wild at Heart, David Lynch
Amy, Asif Kapadia
A few words from the publisher, Naim Attallah
“I came to the UK when I was eighteen, from the Holy Land, to be a student, but was forced to abandon my studies due to a lack of funds. I had a difficult time as a consequence, but I learned to survive by sheer stamina and resolve, eventually ending up an avid publisher, which at the age of eighty-eight, I still am! The reasons are simple: meting people is one important factor, but the main point is that I love the written word and those who make it their vocation, enlightening others as they go along.
“We are here today to celebrate a new book by an author I know is as dedicated as I am to the same cause, and has written a work in response to her compulsion to celebrate the life of an author and her art.
“BEYOND BLACK THERE IS NO COLOUR is inspired by the life of the Iranian poet Forough Farrokhzad. It tells the tale of one of the most iconic dissenting women’s voices in modern Iranian history. Often referred to as “Iran’s Sylvia Plath” – for her highly original confessional writing style as much as her battle with depression and tragic death – she went against the grain by challenging widely held conventions in a turbulent mid-century Iran.
“As has always been the case, every author needs your support. Buying a few copies of Maryam’s book will prove to her that her effort was not in vain. She is a fine lady, and a fine writer, and deserves all the accolades we can give her. Written in elegant, sophisticated prose sparsely spread over a little more than one hundred pages, but with the acid clarity of Nabokov, Maryam’s latest novel is a very good read, so please go ahead and buy it!”
Foyles 107 Charing Cross Road, London WC2H 0DT
Book Depository (An Amazon Company)
© Quartet Books 2020. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Quartet Books with appropriate and specific direction to the original content at this website.