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The Ministry of Guidance
The Ministry of Guidance

The Ministry of Guidance

And Other Stories



204 Pages, 5 x 7.75

Formats: Trade Paper

Trade Paper, $14.95 (US $14.95) (CA $19.95)

Publication Date: June 2021

ISBN 9781916129283

Rights: US, CA & CAR

Muswell Press (Jun 2021)

Price: $14.95


SHORTLISTED FOR THE POLARI PRIZE NOVEL OF THE YEAR A subversive and original debut collection of interlinked stories about the lives of young LGBTQI people in Iran. Golnoosh Nouris a brave and acute observer of how the human spirit fights free of social repression in all its guises. These are stories that argue for nuance in a world that wants to make things black and white. These evocative stories shine a light on the lives of young Iranians who are questioning their sexuality and identity in a culture where queerness is legal but not widely accepted. Set mostly in Iran, but making forays to London, Germany, and the transit area of a Ukrainian airport, the stories are brilliantly deft in summoning up the dilemmas of their protagonists, be they characters who are kicking against the confines of the society into which they are born, or characters wanting to embrace those confines. Nour is a high profile LBGTQI writer and activist with a large SM following.


'The stories in this collection pulse with sensitivity and longing. Golnoosh Nour is a fresh new voice exploring the queerness of sexuality, identity and desire with subtlety and authenticity.' —Saleem Haddad

'Elegant and subversive, these stories exist at the intersection of the intimate and the universal. Golnoosh Nour's unflinching writing explores sex and religion, love and cruelty, and rebellion and identity, with energy, precision and poise.' —Nell Stevens

'An utterly original and compelling new voice' —Matt Bates

"Her characters try on different outfits, different make-up, different attitudes or masks in order to achieve their ends. These myriad acts of masking/ unmasking are sometimes forced, sometimes joyful, sometimes routine and tedious. Throughout they explore the complex play of tactical concealment and guarded disclosure that is the substance of literature, and the soul of the queer. . . . The Ministry of Guidance and other stories is a political book, then. It is also a keenly human book. Its humanity is, in fact, its deepest most important political act. Nour dedicates her collection to "all the queers", and in their multiplicity, wit and exuberance her protagonists show just how radical and embracive such a dedication truly is. " —Stinging Fly

"What an absolute delight this book is, set mostly in Iran we get these short but sassily interesting stories of snapshots of queer life in the Islamic Republic. . . .  It's not black and while, but a kaleidoscope of colourful imagery and words, giving us  a real feel of day to day life as an LGBTQ person in Iran." —#&8203;G Scene

Author Biography

Golnoosh Nour was born in Tehran and studied English Literature at Shahid Beheshti University, after which she moved to London to do an MA in Creative Writing. Her debut poetry collection Sorrows of the Sun was published to acclaim in 2017. Golnoosh has just completed a PhD in Literature and Creative Writing. She now teaches at Birkbeck and works as a translator.