Moniru Ravanipor

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Moniro Ravanipour
Born (1952-07-24) July 24, 1952 (age 66)
Bushehr, Iran
Other namesMoniru Ravanipur
OccupationNovelist, short story writer
Spouse(s)Babak Takhti

Moniro Ravanipor (b. 1952, Bushehr)is an internationally acclaimed innovative writer who is the author of ten titles published in Iran, including two collections of short fiction, Kanizu and Satan's Stones, and the novels The Drowned, Heart of Steel, and Gypsy by Fire. Her tales, described as "reminiscent in their fantastic blend of realism, myth, and superstition of writers like Rulfo, Garcia Marquez, even Tutuola," frequently take as their setting the small, remote village in southern Iran where she was born. Nahid Mozaffari, editor of Strange Times, My Dear: The International PEN Anthology of Contemporary Iranian Literature, wrote that Ravanipour "has been successful in the treatment of the complex subjects of tradition and modernity, juxtaposing elements of both, and exposing them in all their contradictions without idealizing either." Ravanipour was among seventeen activists to face trial in Iran for their participation in the 2000 Berlin Conference, accused of taking part in anti-Iran propaganda. Copies of her current work were recently stripped from bookstore shelves in Iran in a countrywide police action. She is a former Brown University International Writers Project Fellow.

Early life[edit]

Moniro Ravanipour was born on 1952, in Bushehr, South of Iran. She lived in Bushehr till she was 17, and moved to Shiraz for Pahlavi Private High school. She joined Shiraz Pahlavi University in 1972 and studied Chemistry, and then changed major and took a degree in psychology.

She started theatre in Bushehr and joined the Theater and Literary Society of Bushehr.

Acting and theatre experience[edit]

Moniro joined a theatre group in Bushehr called The Theatre and Literary Society of Bushehr. In 1967 Moniro acted in Mother, A play by Manouchehr Atashi. She then continued to act and participated in the production of several plays in Shiraz. Moniro worked with a group of college students for a play called Abazar Ghafari which was banned later. In 1975 she joined Shiraz Theatre Group for producing a play named Moalem, by Shapour Jowrkesh, and in 1976 participated in Tous Theatre Festival, and worked with Shapour Jowrkesh again, for a play named Khoubchehr.

Post Revolution[edit]

In early post-revolution years she was involved in political activities and was banned from studying. During these years, her brother was executed, all her sister were banned from education in elementary and high school, one of her sisters and her husband were sentenced to death penalty and escaped Iran, one of her brothers-in-law got arrested several times. For a decade, she couldn't have a stable place of residence due to the mentioned situation, and she moved from one place to another. She wrote her first short story collection in 1977 named The Sparrow and Mr. President, which was immediately banned from publishing and collected from shelves. After their house was attacked and pillaged in Bushehr, her family moved to Shiraz, and then Moniro moved to Tehran and using a fake name, worked as a worker in Daroupakhsh Factory. After her true identity was revealed using another fake name she worked for another six months in Amidi Factory. Later she worked the grave yard shift nurse in a private hospital, again using a fake name. In 1983 Moniro went back to Shiraz to visit her parents, and she got arrested on the street, when the regime was doing the random arrest of the citizens. It was during the terrible prison days that she decided to become a writer of big fame and success when she is free again, so she would not get killed and forgotten like many others were.

Writing career[edit]

Moniro started writing again from 1965, and wrote children's books and screen plays.

A year after Iran–Iraq War, she went to the City Khanaqin boundaries, for writing a novel about war using the identity of a martyr's mother.

After 1988 Moniro published her works using her real name and in 1994 for the first time she was invited the Women's studies Organization of Vienna. Later she was invited for speeches to 21 countries, and then she was invited by: Khaneh Farhanghaye Jahan, Goethe-Institut, Literary Center of Gumusluk, Bodrum, Gothenburg expo in Sweden, Heinrich Böll Foundation, in Germany, France, and the U.S.


She is famous for using magic realism, but the truth is that she uses the bitter reality she found in the happenings and real life in her homeland. Despite the bold use of surrealism and magical realism, she uses realism too. The settings of her stories are not just the rural world, but her work pictures life and culture in the urban life as well.

In 2006 she moved to the U.S. getting a scholarship in Brown university and then at UNLV's Black Mountain Institute's City of Asylum as a visiting author for three years.

During her stay in the U.S. she has gone to Sacramento, Pittsburgh, San Francisco, Providence, for lectures and speeches. Her short stories have been translated into: French, German, Swedish, Turkish, English, Arabic, Kurdish, and Chinese.


Books and novels[edit]

  • 1989 – Ahle Ghargh
  • 1990 – Heart of Steel
  • 1999 – Gypsy by the Fire
  • 2013 – Afsaneh, A Novel from Iran [English translation of Heart of Steel] (translated by Rebecca Joubin), (ِIbex Publishers). ISBN 978-1-58814-095-1. [1]

Short story collections[edit]

  • 1977 – The Sparrow and Mr. President
  • 1988 – Kanizu
  • 1990 – Satan's Stones
  • 1993 – Siria, Siria
  • 2001 – Frankfurt Airport's Woman
  • 2002 – Nazli

Children's works[edit]

  • Snow White, The Most Beautiful Star of the World, a new version of Kadoo Ghelgheleh Zan: Nashr-e Markaz
  • Four books and audio tapes: Sahar Co.-

Fables for Children/Games for Children/A Collection of Children’s Songs /three books and audio tapes: Iran Cassette Co.

  • Three books: Institute for the Intellectual Development of Children and Young Adults
  • Twelve books (an adaptation of Saadi's Golestan): Amoo Zanjirbaf

Other works[edit]

  • 1989 – The Fairy Tales and Beliefs of Southern Iran's Region


  • 1976 – Rotsam Az Shahnameh Raft (Rostam Left the Epic of the Kings)


  • 1987 – The Night Shift Nurse, based on her novel
  • 1994 – The Good Days of Life

See also[edit]