(c) 2008 Manoucher Parvin
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Phobia: Fear of
Alethophobia: the Fear of Truth
As a story, Alethophobia revolves around the life of the Iranian-born Professor Pirooz who lives mostly in his own imagination; he is everywhere and yet he is nowhere. He dissimulates and dissimulates, yet loses control of himself and speaks his mind - in spite of his efforts - at all costs. He is a whistle blower with a broken whistle and a broken heart and a broken existence. What is the use of being a Professor if you cannot profess and, worse yet, have to pay lip service to academic freedom in order not to be marginalized?
Alethophobia is eventful, witty and insightful. It is a real story that appears as surreal. How could such events occur on a tranquil university campus in America? How could the love of a gorgeous policewoman and a wondering scientist take root and blossom in such inhospitable soil? The story has many stunning turns and twists inducing laughter and tears.
"This novel is the story of an Alethophobian told allegorically and with greater courage, sense of conviction and element of fantasy - however regaling the truth in a multicultural context - A unique Raison d'être - a remarkable insight into one's own psyche! This is a vivid story of life in twenty first century America seen by an outsider who has become an insider."
-- Dr. Nargess M. Britton, Ph.D. Literature
"The novel deals with the nature of politics in academia, which is an interesting topic on its own. But the humor that the writer finds in it makes it more vapid and brutal. Another theme well executed is the nature of love in all its manifestations. Love between a father and son, man and woman and the love that exists among loyal friends. I recommend this book to anyone who likes to read stories with philosophical themes and debates."
-- Massud Alemi, novelist
"This master work - a "novel of fact about a fiction, the fiction of academic freedom in America", this thing called 'Alethophobia' (fear of truth), challenged me - demanded intense attention, provoked `thought conversations' with the invisible author! Yes, this reading, this "Alice In Wonderland" trip through the inner world of university life and the media, unsettled me to no end. .... As I finished Alethophobia, I felt challenged, as a reader, to risk as well - to recognize the myths perpetrated by alethophobia and how it sanitizes, and my contribution in maintaining it, if not creating it. (My modest collection of shattered-myth shards now has several new additions.) I consider myself to be a critical thinker. As such, I must acknowledge the existence of alethophobia as a chronic disease of mind and address it; or I must surrender my claim of being a skeptic. I'm in your debt, Dr. Parvin.
-- Murray McDade