Last Scene Underground An Ethnographic Novel of Iran by Roxanne Varzi
Leili could not have imagined that arriving late to Islamic morals class would change the course of her life. But her arrival catches the eye of a young man, and a chance meeting soon draws Leili into a new circle of friends and artists. Gathering in the cafes of Tehran, these young college students come together to create an underground play that will wake up their generation. They play with fire, literally and figuratively, igniting a drama both personal and political to perform their play—just once. From the wealthy suburbs and chic coffee shops of Tehran to subterranean spaces teeming with drugs and prostitution to spiritual lodges and saints' tombs in the mountains high above the city, Last Scene Underground presents an Iran rarely seen. Young Tehranis navigate their way through politics, art, and the meaning of home and in the process learn hard lessons about censorship, creativity, and love. Their dangerous discoveries ultimately lead to finding themselves. Written in the hopeful wake of Iran's Green Movement and against the long shadow of the Iran-Iraq war, this unique novel deepens our understanding of an elusive country that is full of misunderstood contradictions and wonder.