For thousands of years many ethnicities, languages and religions have coexisted in Iran, and continue to do so despite traumatic events and transient ideologies. But since the Iranian Revolution of 1979, the West has been virtually cut off from that country's culture. Despite severe difficulties imposed by social, political and economic upheavals as well as war, repression and censorship, a veritable cultural renewal has taken place in Iran over the past quarter century, not only in literature but in music, art and cinema. Now, for the first time, we have in translation selections from the work of over forty writers from three generations, both men and women, which offer an overview of contemporary trends in Persian literature and go a long way toward filling a huge gap in our knowledge. This rich and varied collection - or to use the Persian term golchine, a bouquet - provides a much needed window onto a largely undiscovered branch of world literature. "Strange Times in Persia" will bring literary enjoyment as well as a fuller understanding of Iran's complex contemporary culture.