Synopses & Reviews
“Parsipur should be admired both as a courageous woman who endured jail and torture…and as a writer and innovator.”—Aznar Nafisi, author of Reading Lolita in Tehran
This complex epic captures the changing fortunes of Iranian women in the twentieth century from the eras of colonialism to the rule of two shahs to the Islamic revolution of 1980. Touba’s long life intersects with many memorable characters and refutes Western stereotypes of Iranian women.
The best-selling author of eleven books of fiction and memoir, including Women Without Men, Sharnush Parsipur now lives in exile in the United States.
"Eighty dramatic years in Iran from the turn of the 20th-century to the 1979 revolution are witnessed through Touba's chador-covered eyes in this bold, insightful novel, Parsipur's second to be translated into English. After her farther dies when she's 14, Touba smart and spiritual, but barely educated proposes, for financial reasons, to a 52-year-old man. Miserably depressed, she divorces him a few years later, and marries a Qajar prince; it is a loving relationship, but when he takes a second wife, she divorces him, too. Alone and impoverished as the prince's dynasty is displaced, she weaves carpets to make money, cares for her children and communes with a dead girl's ghost that haunts her property. As Touba grows older, she seeks truth with a Sufi master, but the demands of her crumbling household intervene. Initially published in Iran in 1989, this ground-breaking novel which juxtaposes reality and mysticism, becoming especially fantastical toward the book's conclusion was quickly banned by the Islamic Republic, which had imprisoned Parsipur before and did so again. Her 11 novels remain banned in Iran. Now an exile in San Francisco, Parsipur makes a stylishly original contribution to modern feminist literature." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Banned in Iran, this epic masterpiece of dissident Iranian woman writer finally arrives in the U.S.
About the Author
Shahrnush Parsipur was born in Iran in 1946. While incarcerated by the Islamic Republic in the 1970s she wrote the first part of her masterpiece Touba and the Meaning of Night. Parsipur now lives and writes in exile in the San Francisco Bay Area. In 1994 she was recognized by the Fund for Free Expression of Human Rights Watch--Lillian