The recent unrest in Iran has brought to mind one of the most interesting and unusual travel books I've ever read, Calgary-based Marcello Di Cintio's Poets and Pahlevans: A Journey Into the Heart of Iran. Di Cintio traveled to Iran during the summer of 2003 to investigate, among other things, the emotional and creative connections between the country's two great loves: wresting and poetry. Well-written, gripping and often hilarious, it's an eye-opening portrait of contemporary Iran. A more timely glimpse into the Persian psyche you will not get.
Di Cintio -- who has a piece forthcoming in the Fall 2009 issue of Maisonneuve -- has a half-dozen signed hardcovers left, which he's offering to Maisonneuve readers for the rock-bottom price of $15, postage included (slight cheaper than the softcover). If interested, send him an email at [email protected] In the meantime, check out the video reel to the right for an illuminating 2007 radio interview he gave about his trip and the book.