Gabriel García Márquez Novel Spurs Rebels in Iran

'News of a Kidnapping' selling out after Mousavi comment
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Sep 20, 2011 3:22 PM CDT
Iranian opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi speaks during a campaign gathering in downtown Tehran in 2009.   (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi, File)
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(Newser) – Want to know what it’s like to be an Iranian opposition leader under house arrest? Read Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s News of a Kidnapping. Ever since Mir Hossein Mousavi told his daughters the Colombian novel describes “my situation in captivity,” it’s been flying off the shelves in Iran, reports the Guardian. Mousavi’s comment to his daughters became an online sensation among Iran’s wired opposition; now, people are “queuing up to buy the book as if they were queuing up to buy a new Harry Potter,” said a Tehran journalist.

Ten major bookshops tell the Guardian that they’ve sold out of the book. The shops, however, wouldn’t tell the paper why it’s been so popular. Nobel winner Marquez himself has relayed the news via his Facebook page. The book was published in English in 1997 and tells the story of Colombian politicians’ kidnapping by a drug lord. Mousavi has been living under house arrest for most of this year after he called for protests in support of the Arab Spring.

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