Women Without Men: A Novel of Modern Iran

by Shahrnush Parsipur | Literature & Fiction | This book has not been rated.
ISBN: 9781558614529 Global Overview for this book
Registered by maria-gr of Camden, Greater London United Kingdom on 5/22/2009
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4 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by maria-gr from Camden, Greater London United Kingdom on Friday, May 22, 2009
"A modern literary masterpiece, Women Without Men creates an evocative and powerfully drawn allegory of life in contemporary Iran, With a tone that is as stark and bold, yet magical, as its elegantly drawn settings and characters, internationally acclaimed writer Shahrbush Parsipur
follows the interwoven destinies of five women - including a prostitute, a wealthy middle-aged housewife, and a schoolteacher - as they arrive, by many different paths to live in a garden on the outskirts of Tehran. Reminiscent of a wry fable and drawing on elements of Islamic mysticism the narrow precincts of family and society - only to face daunting new challenges.

Shortly after the novel's 1989 publication, Parsipur was arrested and jailed for her frank and defiant portrayal of women's sexuality. Though still banned in Iran, this national best-seller was eventually translated into several languages, delighting new readers with the witty and subversive work of a brilliant Persian writer."

I haven't read it yet, but I'm planning to offer it as a bookring.

The list:

Τhe topic at the forum: 1 Bookring + 1 Bookray

Journal Entry 2 by okyrhoe from Athens - Αθήνα, Attica Greece on Friday, July 10, 2009
Met maria-gr yesterday to pick up the book. Will start reading it over the weekend.

Journal Entry 3 by okyrhoe from Athens - Αθήνα, Attica Greece on Tuesday, August 11, 2009
This is a rather peculiar book.
I'd already seen most of Shirin Eshat's video-art pieces related to the novel, and so I was prepared for the fantastical element of the story.
However I was somewhat disappointed with the text. I found it too simplistic - even if the intention is to resemble a parable. It seemed to me as if the intended audience is the type of women described in the book - an odd thing, to say the least!
In a way, the plight of these female characters is not a unique one; with minimal changes to the text, it could be a story set in a number of other societies, either in the present day, or at most half a century ago. For this reason the fable aspect is appropriate, although I am not sure that the universality of the social issues is a point the text is attempting to convey.

Journal Entry 4 by evablue from Athens - Αθήνα, Attica Greece on Friday, August 14, 2009
Arrived safely, thanks maria-gr and okyrhoe. I believe the story is about women who leave their homes so I think it's only suitable to take them just a bit further away on my vacation :)
okyrhoe thanks for the lovely card and the tips!

Journal Entry 5 by evablue from Athens - Αθήνα, Attica Greece on Thursday, September 03, 2009
I read this book in two sittings, during the long bus ride to and from Elafonisi in Crete. I suppose the scenery enhanced the magical realism of the stories which I read and enjoyed as fairytails.
Just like okyrhoe, I thought the setup could fit a lot of different places in the world. I think a bit of politics would help identify the unique circumstances of Iran and I missed this viewpoint in the book - especially in the part describing the upheaval during the coup d' etat. However I think that the author had enough trouble with the authorities as it is and was trying to avoid censorship. I don't think women's sexuality was the issue, rather preconceptions about it.
I really liked Munis, the woman who revolted at the thought that all her life was based on a lie. I was disapointed at the fact that all those women who lived together in the garden did not learn anything from each other's experience, but I guess this was the realistic part of the book. People very rarely learn from each other.
The writing was wonderful and I enjoyed it very much. Thanks maria-gr for sharing.

I've contacted Alerion for her address.

ETA I met Alerion today, 19 September for a cup of coffee, a chat, a few laughs and some wild releasing. Somewhere in between I gave her the book. Nice knowing you better, Alerion, I had a very good time. Hope you enjoy it.

Journal Entry 6 by Alerion from Laufen, Baselland Switzerland on Sunday, September 27, 2009
Μου το έδωσε η Evablue το προηγούμενο Σάββατο, σε μια συνάντηση πολύ ενδιαφέρουσα, όπου πέρασα πολύ ωραία. Με τις φασαρίες που έχω στο μυαλό μου ξέχασα να το δηλώσω.

Το διάβασα και είναι λίγο σουρεαλιστικό. Αλλά αυτό δεν σημαίνει πως είναι άσχημο. Αντιθέτως δίνει μια αίσθηση της κατάστασης που επικρατεί στο Ιράν και της θέσης της γυναίκας, η οποία όμως έχω την αίσθηση πως είναι γενικότερη του Ιράν και έχει να κάνει με την νοοτροπία των μουσουλμάνων.

Journal Entry 7 by Alerion at Athens - Αθήνα, Attica Greece on Sunday, September 27, 2009

Released 10 yrs ago (9/27/2009 UTC) at Athens - Αθήνα, Attica Greece

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Θα το επιστρέψω στα χέρια της maria gr στην συνάντηση Σεπτεμβρίου

Journal Entry 8 by maria-gr from Camden, Greater London United Kingdom on Sunday, September 27, 2009
Πίσω σε μένα.

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