Howard Brenton, Iranian Nights

Steve Barfield (University of Human Development, Suleymanyia, Iraqi Kurdistan)
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Iranian Nights

(Royal Court, 1989), written by Howard Brenton in collaboration with Tariq Ali, was a short and timely response to the notorious


edict issued against Salman Rushdie, for writing

The Satanic Verses

, by Iran’s spiritual leader, Ayatolla Khomeini. Written in five days, and referring in its title to the

One Thousand and One Nights

, the play defended Rushdie in the name of free speech, while explaining the left’s perspective on the growth of Islamic fundamentalism in the contexts of both racism against immigrants to Britain and as a relatively recent, right-wing political development in Islamic countries. It attracted a reasonable (and unusual) number of Muslim audience members to the Royal Court and, despite mixed reviews, certainly prompted debate about this issue.…

900 words

Citation: Barfield, Steve. "Iranian Nights". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 16 March 2005 [, accessed 23 June 2024.]

9072 Iranian Nights 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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