City of Lies
By Ramita Navai
This is real Tehran: a city that is hidden from view and rarely written about, where survival depends on an intricate network of lies and subterfuge.It is a place where mullahs visit prostitutes, drug kingpins run crystal meth kitchens, surgeons restore girls' virginity and homemade porn is uploaded onto the Internet and sold in the bazaars. Plotted around the city's great central thoroughfare, Vali Asr Street, CITY OF LIES chronicles the lives of eight protagonists drawn from across the spectrum of Iranian society. This is a world of gangsters, socialites, dutiful housewives and volunteer militiamen - ordinary people forced to lead extraordinary lives. Based on extensive interviews and research, CITY OF LIES is an intimate and unforgettable portrait of modern Tehran, and of what it is to live, love and survive under one of the world's most repressive regimes.
Child of the Revolution
By Luis Garcia
Cuba, a land of cigars, hot nights, sultry music and romantic revolutionary heroes. But what was it really like to live in Fidel Castro's tropical paradise? With an evocative wide-eyed innocence, Luis M. Garcia takes us back to his Cuban childhood and his parents' dreams of escape.Child of the Revolution is a story about growing up in an extraordinary place at an extraordinary time, as the superpowers prepared to go to war over nuclear missiles installed on the tiny Caribbean island. It's a story set in a world of uncertainty and revolutionary upheaval, where a 10-year-old swears allegiance to Lenin, Marx and the mythical Che Guevara under swaying palm trees, with no idea of what it all means, except this is the only way to become a 'better revolutionary' - and get out of school early. It is also the story of brothers and sisters torn apart by politics and how a Cuban teenager and his family end up - by sheer accident ? - on the other side of the world.Warm, generous and gently amusing, Child of the Revolution stirs the heart and brings music to the soul.
The Cosmic Serpent
By Jeremy Narby
Whilst living amongst Peruvian Indians, anthropologist Jeremy Narby learned of their phenomenal knowledge of plants and biochemical interactions, gained under the influence of the hallucinogen ayahuasca. Despite his initial scepticism, Narby found himself engaged in an increasingly obsessive quest. He researched cutting-edge scholarship in subjects as diverse as molecular biology, shamanism, neurology and mythology, which led him inexorably to the conclusion that the Indians' claims were literally true: to a consciousness prepared with drugs, biochemical knowledge could indeed be transmitted, through DNA itself.