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Tehran Noir (Iran)

Edited by:

An unflinching noir exploration of one the world’s most volatile cities.

$15.95 $11.96

Available as an e-book for:

What people are saying…

Vali Khalili’s story “Fear Is the Best Keeper of Secrets” has been named a finalist for the Private Eye Writers of America Shamus Award for Best P.I. Short Story!

Named a Notable Translation of 2014 by World Literature Today

“This entry in Akashic’s noir series takes the gritty sensibilities born out of American film and fiction to Tehran.”
Publishers Weekly

“A tour de force not to be missed.”
World Literature Today

Tehran Noir is not only a solid crime collection, but an illuminating look into day-to-day life in the Middle East, with religious and political implications galore, as well as racial tensions bubbling just beneath the surface . . . The stories in Tehran Noir aren’t always easy to read, but they are engaging in the extreme.”
San Francisco Book Review

“The 15 stories in this collection also come from a stellar and diverse cast of Iranian writers . . . A collection such as this is able to bring Iran to life for the foreign reader in a way other fiction and non-fiction cannot . . . Superb.”

Tehran Noir is a worthy addition to Akashic’s collection . . . bloody and beautiful.”
Digging Through the Fat

Tehran Noir will prove fascinating reading to anyone with an interest in Iran. It will be equally intriguing for a reader who is simply curious about a theocratic society in the 21st century, or what became of a vibrant, cosmopolitan society after the fall of its dynastic ruler.”
Gumshoe Review


Akashic Books continues its groundbreaking series of original noir anthologies, launched in 2004 with Brooklyn Noir. Each story is set in a distinct neighborhood or location within the city of the book.

Brand-new stories by: Gina B. Nahai, Salar Abdoh, Lily Farhadpour, Azardokht Bahrami, Yourik Karim-Masihi, Vali Khalili, Farhaad Heidari Gooran, Aida Moradi Ahani, Mahsa Mohebali, Majed Neisi, Danial Haghighi, Javad Afhami, Sima Saeedi, Mahak Taheri, and Hossein Abkenar.

From the Introduction by Salar Abdoh:

“There is something of both the absolutely spectacular and positively disgraceful about Tehran. But most writers around the world are inclined to think that their own sprawling metropolis is the capital of every imaginable vice and crime, of impossible love and tenderness and cruelty and malice in measures that seldom exist anywhere else. For me, Tehran’s case is no different—except that there really is a difference here. The city may be a hothouse of decadence, a den of inequity, all that. But it still exists under the watchful eye of a very unique entity, the Islamic Republic. The city enforces its own morality police, and there are regular public hangings of drug dealers and thieves. Because of this, there is a raging sense of a split personality about the place—the imposed propriety of the mosque rubbing against the hidden (and more often not so hidden) rhythms of the real city . . .

There is always an element of the end of the world about this place. A feeling of being once removed from the edge of the precipice. Elsewhere I have called it the “Seismic City”—the seismic sanctuary. All of this will end one day. Yes. And maybe sooner than later. And when it does, by God, we will miss it.”

Read an interview with contributor Hossein Abkenar at Las Vegas Weekly.

Listen to interviews with editor Salar Abdoh at TravelWise with Carole Kay Monaco and Voices of the Middle East (KPFA 94.1 FM, Berkeley).

Click here to read a feature in Jewish Journal written by contributor Gina B. Nahai on Tehran Noir‘s joint book launch with Tel Aviv Noir at the New York Public Library.

Read a recap, written by Tel Aviv Noir translator Yardenne Greenspan, of Tehran Noir‘s joint NYPL launch event with Tel Aviv Noir at Asymptote Journal.

Check out Salar Abdoh’s translation of Habibe Jafarian’s “How to be a Woman in Tehran” for Guernica’s special March 2015 issue, “The Boundaries of Gender.”

Table of Contents


Part I: The Crime Pages
“The Fat, Fat Story of the Fat City” by Danial Haghighi (Mowlavi)
“Fear Is the Best Keeper of Secrets” by Vali Khalili (Rey)
“A Woman’s Geography Is Sacred” by Lily Farhadpour (University of Tehran)

Part II: When a War’s Not Over
“The Shelf Life of Revenge” by Sima Saeedi (Karim-Khan, Villa)
“The Corpse Fixer” by Majed Neisi (Shahrak-e-Gharb)
“Lariyan’s Day in the Sun” by Aida Moradi Ahani (Qeytarieh)
“The Whitest Set of Teeth in Tehran” by Salar Abdoh (Karim-Khan, Kuche Aban)

Part III: Proper Burial
“The Restlessness of a Serial Killer at the Finish Line” by Javad Afhami (Shush)
“My Own Marble Jesus” by Mahsa Mohebali (Dibaji)
“In the Flophouse” by Farhaad Heidari Gooran (Gomrok)
“A Stoning Before Breakfast” by Azardokht Bahrami (Salehabad)

Part IV: The Executioner’s Song
“Bridge of Simon” by Yourik Karim-Masihi (Narmak)
“Not Every Bullet Is Meant for a King” by Hossein Abkenar (Shapur)
“The Groom’s Return” by Mahak Taheri (Behesht e Zahra Cemetery)
“The Gravedigger’s Kaddish” by Gina B. Nahai (Tehrangeles)

Book Details

  • Paperback: 280 pages
  • Published: 10/7/14
  • IBSN: 9781617753008
  • e-IBSN: 9781617753343


SALAR ABDOH was born in Iran and splits his time between Tehran and New York City. He is the author of the novels Tehran at TwilightThe Poet Game, and Opium; and he is the editor of Tehran Noir. He teaches in the MFA program at the City College of New York. Out of Mesopotamia is his latest novel.

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