tehran lipsticks and loopholes by Nahal Tajadod

 I got this book for my around the world challenge from the lovely Sarah at bookrabbit .It follows Nahal who lives in france but still had iranian citizenship as she has to return to her homeland to renew her passport staying with her family in Tehran .The main thing she has to do for her passport is get a islamic approved picture from a photographer this is hard than it seems as they don t advertise as they can t put pictures in the window .after a few false starts and constantly being asked by people to help out family members or fill in forms from aboard .she has the photo now to tackle Iranian bureaucracy where she has to remove make up dress modestly and hoping she is lucky with the time she has on her hands she spends time with her family .Nahal ‘s work is funny and highlights the differing standards and lunacy in iran ,a cast of oddball characters,the humour makes this book come alive  make this a real page turner .i feels this book would work well as a book group book it certainly makes you think loads .

The salesman open a drawer and takes out a press cutting with a photograph of the commander-in-chief of Tehran’s armed forces posing in front of a blackboard with the following instructions :

  • bright lipstick?>do not lance >remove with tissue
  • heavy make up ?>don’t apply acid>apply rosewater
  • shortened coat?>offer chador
  • tiny scarf ? >avoid saying: either you cover your head or we ll beat you > lower scarf to hide hair or gently trim the hair .

rules ,rules a quote from the book published this week by virago books

tehran lipstick and loopholes by Nahal Tajadod



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March 2010


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