Shirin and Salt Man.


168 pages
ISBN 978-0-88982-246-7
DDC C811'.6





Reviewed by Lori A. Dunn

Lori A. Dunn is a ESL teacher, instructional designer, and freelance
writer in New Westminster, B.C.


In Shirin and Salt Man, Nilofar Shidmehr shares a romantic legend intermingled with today’s world, in poetic form. Set in both ancient Persia and pre-revolutionary Iran, this musical novella intrigues the reader by combining legends with modern scientific discoveries. The woman Shirin, in 1997 Iran, finds herself fascinated by the recently discovered Salt Man, an ancient corpse from the northern mountains who is almost perfectly preserved in salt. Could he be the legendary Farhad the Stonecutter, idealized lover of the also legendary princess Shirin, her namesake? The verses of the poem move back and forth between the original Shirin and her royal husband, Khosro, and the modern woman who was fated to also marry a Khosro.


The initial reading of this extended poem draws the reader in with its clear language and elegant images. The second reading allows the nuances of the story to seep to the surface. A third visit through the pages of this slim volume sends the reader out into the world, researching the discovery of the Salt Man, the fabulous carvings in the mountains of Iran, and the legends of ancient Persia. Through this literary artistry, Shidmehr has done a great service to her heritage.


Shidmehr, Nilofar., “Shirin and Salt Man.,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed June 19, 2024,