Women writers occupy prominent positions in contemporary Iranian literature, despite the increased legal and cultural restrictions placed upon women since the 1978-1979 Islamic Revolution. One of these writers is Moniru Ravanipur, author of the critically acclaimed The Drowned and Heart of Steel.
Satan's Stones is the first English translation of her 1991 short story collection Sangha-ye Sheytan. Often set in the remote regions of Iran, these stories explore many facets of contemporary Iranian life, particularly the ever-shifting relations between women and men. Their bold literary experimentation marks a new style in Persian fiction akin to "magical realism."
Recent reports from Iran indicate that Satan's Stones has been banned there by government authorities. While its frank explorations of Iranian society may have offended Islamic leaders, they offer Western readers fresh perspectives on Iranian culture from one of the country's most distinguished writers.
"The short story collection Satan's Stones (Sangha-ye Shaytan), like Moniru Ravanipur's other works, explores women's issues through an unusual combination of unabashed, compelling narrative and insight into men-women relationships.... The translation and publication of this book into English contributes not only to the introduction of Ravanipur's work to English readers, but also to the further elucidation of issues related to the status of women in today's Iran."
"I like to point out to interested students whose reading is confined to English that there is much more contemporary Persian writing available to them than they realize. Satan's Stones is a significant contribution to this body of new writing.... Ravanipur is a major writer."
—Michael Beard, Department of English, University of North Dakota