Candle & Fog, a publishing house in Tehran and London, is now bringing to the attention of the international world a selection of best-selling novels and stories that hitherto have only been available in Persian – a literary selection that opens a whole new hidden world to readers in English. These works provide a unique insight into the history that has shaped the extraordinary country of present day Iran. They open a window onto a culture which has remained a mystery to many in the western world. The narratives cover a wide range of topics, from contemporary domestic issues to the role of women in a male-dominated society; from the bloody conflicts that darkened historic Persia’s landscape to a medieval mystic’s quest for enlightenment. The poetic nature of the Persian language is well-suited to literature; its compelling rhythms lend a haunting quality to the stories that linger long after the books have been read. For readers unfamiliar with Iran, the perspective that these books bring to its cultural life, both past and present, should help to develop an understanding and a greater tolerance of the differences that sometimes divide us.