"If you want to understand my situation, read Gabriel Garcia Marquez's 'News of a Kidnapping,'" Iranian opposition leader Mir Hossein Musavi was quoted as having said in a recent meeting with his daughters.
Musavi, who together with his wife, Zahra Rahnavard, has been under house arrest for more than six months, reportedly made the comments some three weeks ago. Opposition websites posted an account
of the meeting and Musavi's comments last week.
Since then, a number of Iranian websites and blogs have made an electronic version
of the book in Persian available for download. Green Movement activists and supporters claim the book has already been downloaded more than 4,000 times.
"News of a Kidnapping" is a nonfiction account of the 1990 abduction of 10 Colombians by drug traffickers and the terror they endure during their captivity. It also describes the suffering and the efforts by the family to free the hostages.
A Facebook page has also been launched on which Musavi supporters share their thoughts or quotes from the book that they believe give a good picture of the plight of the former prime minister.
The Facebook page
, titled "News of a Kidnapping: The Mood of a President under Arrest," has so far been "liked" by some 1,000 people.
Meanwhile, the website of the Iranian daily "Shargh" reports that "News of a Kidnapping" is among the best-selling "rare books" nowadays in Iran.
Kaveh Kiayian, a manager of one of Iran's biggest publishing houses, Nashr-e Cheshmeh, told "Shargh
" that the book has had "phenomenal" sales recently. Kiayian said he expected "News of a Kidnapping" to make the top ranks of the publishing house's bestseller list by next week.
-- Golnaz Esfandiari