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Experience the terrible ordeal of being a political prisoner in Iran between 1984 and 1989. This is a personal memoir of the events of that terrible time combined with testimonials of other prisoners who shared their experiences with the author.
The 1979 Revolution in Iran caused the migration of millions of Iranians, many of whom wrote of, and are still writing of, their experiences. Sanaz Fotouhi here traces the origins of the emerging body of diasporic Iranian literature in English, and uses these origins to examine the socio-political position and historical context from which they emerged. While situating this body of work through existing theories such as postcolonialism, Fatouhi sheds new light on the role of Iranian literature and culture in Western literature by showing that these writings distinctively reflect a diasporic experience unique to Iranians. Analysing the relationship between Iranians and their new surroundings by drawing on theories of migration, narration and identity, Fotouhi examines how the literature borne out of the Iranian Diaspora reflects socio-political realities today. The first of its kind, this book will be vital for researchers of Middle Eastern literature and its relationship with writings from the West, as well as those interested in the cultural history of the Middle East.
Sofia Coppola is widely regarded as one of the most astute, provocative and visionary directors in the contemporary film industry. She has received numerous accolades including an Academy Award and two Golden Globes, and in 2004 became the first ever American woman to be nominated for a Best Director Oscar. From The Virgin Suicides to The Bling Ring, her work carves out new spaces for the expression of female subjectivity that embraces rather than rejects femininity. Fiona Handyside here considers the careful counter-balance of vulnerability with the possibilities and pleasures of being female in Coppola’s films – albeit for the white and the privileged – through their recurrent themes of girlhood, fame, power, sex and celebrity. Chapters reveal a post-feminist aesthetic that offers sustained, intimate engagements with female characters. These characters inhabit luminous worlds of girlish adornments, light and sparkle and yet find homes in unexpected places from hotels to swimming pools, palaces to strip clubs: resisting stereotypes and the ordinary. In this original study, Handyside brings critical attention to a rare female auteur and in so doing contributes to important analyses of post-feminism, authorship in film, and the growing field of girlhood studies.
Ashley Dartnell's mother was a glamorous American, her father a dashing Englishman, each trying to slough off their past and upgrade to a more romantic and exotic present in Iran. As the story starts, Ashley is eight years old and living in Tehran in the 1960s: the Shah was in power, life for Westerners was rich and privileged. But somehow it didn't all add up to a fairytale. There were bankruptcies and prisons, betrayals and lovers, lies and evasions. And throughout it all, Ashley's passionate and strong-willed mother, Genie. Stories of mothers and daughters are some of the most compelling in contemporary memoir, from The Liar's Club and The Glass Castle to Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight and Bad Blood. Farangi Girl deserves to be in their company. It's an honest and endlessly recognisable portrait of a mother by a daughter who loved her (and was loved in return). Against this extraordinary background, Ashley's journey into adulthood was more helter-skelter than most and this portrait of a bewitching and endlessly inventive mother is surprising and deeply moving.
In 17th-century Persia, a 14-year-old woman believes she will be married within the year. But when her beloved father dies, she and her mother find themselves alone and without a dowry. With nowhere else to go, they are forced to sell the brilliant turquoise rug the young woman has woven to pay for their journey to Isfahan, where they will work as servants for her uncle, a rich rug designer in the court of the legendary Shah Abbas the Great. Despite her lowly station, the young woman blossoms as a brilliant designer of carpets, a rarity in a craft dominated by men. But while her talent flourishes, her prospects for a happy marriage grow dim. Forced into a secret marriage to a wealthy man, the young woman finds herself faced with a daunting decision: forsake her own dignity, or risk everything she has in an effort to create a new life. "Anita Amirrezvani has written a sensuous and transporting first novel filled with the colors, tastes and fragrances of life in seventeenth-century Isfahan...Amirrezvani clearly knows and loves the ways of old Iran, and brings them to life with the cadences of a skilled story-spinner." -- Geraldine Brooks, author of March "An engrossing, enthralling tale of a girl's quest for self-determination in the fascinating other world that was seventeenth-century Iran." -- Emma Donoghue, author of Touchy Subjects and Life Mask
Why were urban women veiled in the early 1900s, unveiled from 1936 to 1979, and reveiled after the 1979 revolution? This question forms the basis of Hamideh Sedghi's original and unprecedented contribution to politics and Middle Eastern studies. Using primary and secondary sources, Sedghi offers new knowledge on women's agency in relation to state power. In this rigorous analysis she places contention over women at the centre of the political struggle between secular and religious forces and demonstrates that control over women's identities, sexuality, and labor has been central to the consolidation of state power. Sedghi links politics and culture with economics to present an integrated analysis of the private and public lives of different classes of women and their modes of resistance to state power.
Khorramshahr, Iran, May 1982—It was the bloodiest battle of one of the most brutal wars of the twentieth century, and Najah, a twenty-nine-year-old wounded Iraqi conscript, was face to face with a thirteen-year-old Iranian child soldier who was ordered to kill him. Instead, the boy committed an astonishing act of mercy. It was an act that decades later would save his own life. This is a remarkable story. It is gut-wrenching, essential, and astonishing. It’s a war story. A love story. A page-turner of vast moral dimensions. An eloquent and haunting act of witness to horrors beyond grimmest fiction, and a thing of towering beauty. More importantly, it is a story that must be told, and a richly textured view into an overlooked conflict and misunderstood region. This is the great untold story of the children and young men whose lives were sacrificed at the whim of vicious dictators and pointless, barbaric wars. Little has been written of the Iran-Iraq war, which was among the most brutal conflicts of the twentieth century, one fought with chemical weapons, ballistic missiles, and cadres of child soldiers. The numbers involved are staggering: —All told, it claimed 700,000 lives—200,000 Iraqis, and 500,000 Iranians. —Young men of military service age—eighteen and above in Iraq, fifteen and above in Iran—died in the greatest numbers. —80,000 Iranian child soldiers were killed, mostly between the ages of sixteen and seventeen. —The two countries spent a combined 1.1 trillion dollars fighting the war. Rarely does this kind of reportage succeed so power- fully as literature. More rarely still does such searingly brilliant literature—fit to stand beside Remarque, Hemingway, and O’Brien—emerge from behind “enemy” lines. But Zahed, a child, and Najah, a young restaurateur, are rare men—not just survivors, but masterful, wondrously gifted storytellers. Written with award-winning journalist Meredith May, this is literature of a very high order, set down with passion, urgency, and consummate skill. This story is an affirmation that, in the end, it is our humanity that transcends politics and borders and saves us all.

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