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An introduction to Bijan and Manije

Buy Bijan and Manije

By: Mateen Arghandehpour

Bijan and Manije

There is a Finnish poem that says words have magic. I am a strong believer of this. Words enthrall us and cause us to change our lives, just simple words alone. The best words, are quite hardy and become immortal. Words of love are part of these ‘best words’. There is a certain charm to the idea of ‘pure love’. Perhaps it is the rarity, or the beauty, or even the perfect people we unconsciously associate it with in our heads. We long for such things. Bijan & Manije is not a story of pure love, however. Ferdowsi related it in his Shahnameh, The Book of Kings, a thousand years ago in beautiful verse, to tell the story of a woman’s love for a man. It has adventures and heroes and kings and princesses. It holds the key to immortality, and yet, it does not cling to clichés like so many other stories. This is what makes Bijan & Manije’s love immortal. It is their story. It is the magic of the words; magic that is not lost in adaption nor in translation. Reading Bijan & Manije took me on an adventure to long-lost places and there, it showed me great dreams. It takes away stereotypes and expectations, replacing them with strength and expectancy; not all women wait for Prince Charming, not all kings are great, and men do not always set the entire plot. I would call Bijan & Manije an immortal story.

*Mateen Arghandehpour is a PhD candidate of Classics and Ancient History at University College London

  • Watch this book trailer
  • Read this interview with Nicolette Jones: The story of Bijan and Manije spoke to me
  • Read a review by educational consultant Anne Harding: an epic tale of love

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