PositiveFull StopBecause Mandanipour’s characters perceive (animal or metaphoric) danger all around them, the stories feel tightly-wound, driven by paranoia, suspense, and half-glimpsed hints of the climactic events to come. This ubiquitous awareness of a hovering danger contributes to the dark atmosphere Mandanipour sustains across these nine stories. While each of the stories stands alone, unconnected to the others in plot or characters, they all share a predilection for the macabre. Descriptions of decay, rot, and filth are so abundant in these writings that the collection could even sit within the category of gothic ... the short stories in Seasons of Purgatory feel refreshingly untethered from a \'Western\' audience, and the elements of socio-political criticism they contain are much more subtle ... Mandanipour does not guide the reader to a clear-cut narrative closure in Seasons of Purgatory. Instead, Mandanipour, in Khalili’s translation, cultivates an unsettling sort of ambiguity, an open-endedness that makes these stories rich with enigma, asking to be read, then read again.