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J Boyle's Persia: History and Heritage is the best book to buy for an overview of Iranian history, carpets, literature, painting, architecture and pottery.Robert Byron's The Road to Oxiana is a vividly observed and often hilarious diary of a slow passage from England to Afghanistan including lengthy jaunts though Iran.Danziger's Travels: Beyond Forbidden Frontiers is Nick Danziger's account of his travels from Turkey to Hong Kong (including Iran) without much regard for tiresome formalities like visas, stamps or permits.Honeymoon in Purdah by Alison Wearing is an excellent account of her recent journey through Iran.Two of the best accounts of life after the Islamic Revolution are John Simpson's Behind Iranian Lines and Lifting the Veil.John Simpson and Tira Shubart's Lifting the Veil is a thorough book which explores just about every aspect of post-revolutionary Iran.The Fifty Poems of Chemsed Din Mohammed Hafiz are the definitive work of the renowned poet commonly known as Hafez. It's available at Hafez's tomb in Shiraz.Iran's most popular novelists are Sadeq Heydat, whose works include The Blind Owl and Simin Daneshvar, best known for her work, Shaveshun, which deals with life in Iran between the two world wars.

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