Iran on Wednesday has banned the latest novel by Colombian writer Gabriel Garcia Marquez, saying the initial publication of “Memories of My Melancholy â€¦” was a bureaucratic error. The culture ministry refused to issue a permit for the reprinting of the book, whose Farsi translation appeared under the slightly more cautious title “Memories of My Melancholy Sweethearts”.
The official responsible for originally authorizing the book’s publication has been sacked.
The first edition of around 5,000 copies, which hit bookshops three weeks ago, has already sold out.
“The publication of this book was an error,” an unnamed cultural official was quoted as saying. “This kind of thing can happen when 50,000 books are published every year in Iran.”
All publications in Iran must be approved by the ministry of culture and Islamic guidance.
The novel tells the story of a nonagenarian who decides to celebrate his old age by treating himself to a night with an adolescent virgin and asks the madam of the city’s most successful brothel to help.
The book has angered many, including conservatives, in the Islamic Republic complaining that the book is not in line with Islamic values.