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Catalog Archive / Spring 2024

Boys of Love
Translated by Poupeh Missaghi

Swimming in the Dark meets Lie with Me in this riveting, critically acclaimed novel about forbidden love between two teen boys set against the violence of the Iranian Cultural Revolution

During a wedding celebration, Jamil, the sole heir of a rich landowner, meets Naji, who sells hay for a living. The novel follows the boys’ escape from their village in the hopes of finding a place where they can be together freely. Even as their love evolves, their strong connection remains, which helps see them through the upheavals of the Islamic Revolution and the Iran–Iraq War.

In Boys of Love, Ghazi Rabihavi offers both a universal story about the ups and downs of all relationships and a clear-eyed portrait of same-sex desire in Iran, where homosexuality remains punishable by death. Banned in Iran, the novel was initially published in Farsi in the UK, then translated into French and shortlisted for the Prix Médicis étranger. Rabihavi avoids both lasciviousness and exoticism in depicting a deep love between male characters living through the Iranian Cultural Revolution. Ultimately, this story challenges preconceived notions about marginalized communities in the Middle East.


Ghazi Rabihavi is an Iranian playwright and novelist who began his career as a screenwriter. His 1997 play Look Europe! was produced by Harold Pinter, and a short story of his was included in the 2005 PEN Anthology of Contemporary Iranian Literature.

Poupeh Missaghi is a writer, editor, and translator (between English and Persian). She is an assistant professor of English and literary arts at the University of Denver and a faculty mentor of the Low-Residency MFA in Creative Writing program at the Pacific Northwest College of Art. She is the author of trans(re)lating house one and Sound Museum. A recent translation is In the Streets of Tehran, a book of witness narrative.



Praise for the French edition:

“A poignant story of love, death, and exile.”
Le Monde des Lives

“Audacious and arresting.”

“With an incisive pen, the author revisits the harshness of the Islamic revolution, with its confiscation of a whole host of liberties.”
Bruxelles Culture

“Reveals the true face of homosexuality in Iran: necessarily hidden, but very widespread. One leaves the novel shaken, outraged.”

“A little marvel free from a teasing homo-eroticism, whining, Manichean judgments or pamphleteering. . . . The novel is like a prayer to the deceased, a memorial for a lost love.”
La Caoua des idées



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July 2024
312 pp. 5.5 x 8.5

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Paper $26.95
ISBN 9780299349042
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