In order to live in Tehran you have to lie, and you have to know how to lie like a pro. Morals don’t come into it. Lying in Tehran is about survival… telling the truth has become a secret, rare and dangerous commodity, highly prized and to be handled with great care. When the truth is shared in Tehran, it is an indication of extreme trust or absolute desperation.
CITY OF LIES offers up a portrait of a remarkable city – it is timely, surprising and provocative. It’s a book about a largely hidden society and with an irresistible combination of crime, political intrigue, sex and suspense it has broad and international appeal.
Through the centre of Tehran and through the heart of Ramita’s book runs Vali Asr – Tehran’s main thoroughfare and the longest street in the Middle East. Over the course of the book we travel down Vali Asr and build up a sense of place architecturally, culturally and historically.
The author presents Tehran’s underbelly at its most colourful through eight unforgettable characters – including an assassin, a porn actress, an ageing socialite and a gun runner – through whom we build up an extraordinary, colourful and counter intuitive glimpse of Tehran.
At a ceremony last night, journalist and presenter Faisal Islam presented the author with a cheque for £3,000, kindly donated by Lord Ashcroft.
29 Jan 2015