Marriage on the Street Corners of Tehran

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9780615351896: Marriage on the Street Corners of Tehran
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"Married off at the age of twelve, Ateesh finds the courage to escape her abusive arranged marriage, only to find herself trapped in the oppressive but socially accepted practice of temporary marriage. Here is her touching and tragic story of strength and survival"--[P. 4 of cover].

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About the Author:

Attorney and author Nadia Shahram lives in Amherst, New York where she teaches at the University at Buffalo Law School. She has written and spoken extensively on the subject of the misinterpretation of the Koran in family and criminal laws as they affect Muslim women. While traveling throughout Iran, she heard hundreds of accounts from women who, in order to survive, fell prey to temporary marriages, and she based this novel on their true stories. Currently she is working on a documentary which explores cultural practices that harm Muslim women, such as blood money and honor killings. This is her first novel.

Review:

Shahram’s gripping debut novel, about the Shia Muslim practice of temporary marriage (in which the duration and dowry are arranged in advance), is more powerful for being based on real-life experiences, working as an engrossing fictional story and an exposé of gender discrimination in Iran. At 12 years old, Ateesh is forced into an arranged marriage with an abusive man. When a brutal beating lands her in the hospital, her mother is determined to get her daughter a divorce, in spite of Ateesh’s father’s opposition because the family will lose face. Ateesh’s marriage at that tender age shapes the decisions she makes for the rest of her life; she is determined never again to be under the control of a man. For complicated reasons, she eventually turns to temporary marriage effectively a legalized form of prostitution as a way to earn a living and pay for college, while avoiding the possibility of real love. Although Ateesh’s early experiences are disturbing, that brutality is countered by the warm, loving relationships she shares with her mother and two grandmothers. Shahram presents a positive view of Islam but criticizes the ways that men have twisted its interpretation to rationalize the abuse of women. The authentic, intimate story narrated by Ateesh pulls the reader in and encompasses not only her life but also that of other women, exposing a wide range of inequities between the genders in Iranian culture. Publisher's Weekly


Shahram’s gripping debut novel, about the Shia Muslim practice of temporary marriage (in which the duration and dowry are arranged in advance), is more powerful for being based on real-life experiences, working as an engrossing fictional story and an exposé of gender discrimination in Iran. At 12 years old, Ateesh is forced into an arranged marriage with an abusive man. When a brutal beating lands her in the hospital, her mother is determined to get her daughter a divorce, in spite of Ateesh’s father’s opposition because the family will lose face. Ateesh’s marriage at that tender age shapes the decisions she makes for the rest of her life; she is determined never again to be under the control of a man. For complicated reasons, she eventually turns to temporary marriage―effectively a legalized form of prostitution―as a way to earn a living and pay for college, while avoiding the possibility of real love. Although Ateesh’s early experiences are disturbing, that brutality is countered by the warm, loving relationships she shares with her mother and two grandmothers. Shahram presents a positive view of Islam but criticizes the ways that men have twisted its interpretation to rationalize the abuse of women. The authentic, intimate story narrated by Ateesh pulls the reader in and encompasses not only her life but also that of other women, exposing a wide range of inequities between the genders in Iranian culture. ―Publisher's Weekly

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9781936268177: Marriage on the Street Corners of Tehran: A Novel Based on the True Stories of Temporary Marriage

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ISBN 10:  1936268175 ISBN 13:  9781936268177
Publisher: Unhooked Books, 2016
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