Touba and the Meaning of Night (Women Writing the Middle East)

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9781558615199: Touba and the Meaning of Night (Women Writing the Middle East)
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Touba and the Meaning of Night introduces English-speaking readers to the masterpiece of a great contemporary Persian writer, renowned in her native Iran and much of Western Europe. This remarkable epic novel, begun during one of the author's several imprisonments, was published in Iran in 1989 to great critical acclaim and instant bestseller status—until Shahrnush Parsipur was again arrested a year later, and all her works banned by the Islamic Republic.

After her father's death, fourteen-year-old Touba proposes to a fifty-two-year-old relative in order to ensure her family's financial security. Intimidated by her outspoken nature, Touba's husband soon divorces her. She marries again, this time to a prince with whom she experiences tenderness and physical passion and has four children—but he proves unfaithful and unreliable. Touba is granted a divorce from him, and lives out the rest of her long life as matriarch to a changing household of family members and refugees.

From a distinctly Iranian viewpoint, Tuba and the Meaning of Night explores the ongoing tensions between rationalism and mysticism, tradition and modernity, male dominance and female will. Throughout, it defies Western stereotypes of Iranian women and Western expectations of literary form, speaking in an idiom that reflects both the unique creative voice of its author and an important tradition in Persian women's writing.

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About the Author:

Born in Iran in 1946, Shahrnush Parsipur began her career as a fiction writer and producer at Iranian National Television and Radio. She was imprisoned for nearly five years by the Islamist government without being formally charged. Shortly after her release, she published Women Without Men and was arrested and jailed again, this time for her frank and defiant portrayal of women's sexuality. While still banned in Iran, the novel became an underground bestseller there, and has been translated into many languages around the world. She is also the author of Touba and the Meaning of Night, among many other books, and now lives in exile in Northern California.

Review:

"Bold, insightful . . . a stylishly original contribution to modern feminist literature." Publishers Weekly

"Parsipur's novel carries the reader on a mystical and emotional odyssey spanning eight decades of Iranian cultural, political, and religious history . . . replete with juxtapositions of mysticism and historical fact, Parsipur's novel is a rewarding and enlightening encapsulation of her country's recent past." Booklist

"[Touba and the Meaning of Night] is both a sweeping chronicle of modern Iranian history and a study of the plight of twentieth-century Iranian women. . . [displaying] deft utilization of magic realism and Persian myths . . . rich and well-crafted. For all fiction collections." Library Journal (starred review)

"Shahrnush Parsipur's Touba and the Meaning of Night is... one of the unsurpassed masterpieces of modern Persian literature." Iranian.com

"With America and Iran engaged in a volatile stand-off, this now banned 1989 novel by one of Iran's most distinguished writers provides profound insights into the conflict between religion and modernity in modern Persia. . . . A feminist tour de force . . . among the classics of twentieth-century Middle Eastern Literature." Tikkun magazine

"Shahrnush Parsipur makes a case against every kind of fundamentalism. But above all she narrates a great history book and a great story. Not only does she borrow the oriental coin of Sherherazade, but she also avails herself artfully of the narrative technique of Western masters from Umberto Ecco to Gabrielle García Marquez." Die Zeit (Germany)

"Shahrnush Parsipur has achieved an unusually powerful and vivid portrait of her homeland." Der Standard (Austria)

"Like Parsipur herself, her protagonists are women whose rebellions are not merely political but existential, against a system that denies them their individual dignity and stunts their potentials for growth." Azar Nafisi, author of Reading Lolita in Tehran

"Houshmand and Talattof have rendered a moving translation of Shahrnush Parsipur’s masterpiece. The tale combines realism with flights of fantasy in a tale set against the backdrop of modern Iranian history." Beth Baron, author of Egypt as a Woman

"Bold, insightful . . . a stylishly original contribution to modern feminist literature." ―Publishers Weekly

"Parsipur's novel carries the reader on a mystical and emotional odyssey spanning eight decades of Iranian cultural, political, and religious history . . . replete with juxtapositions of mysticism and historical fact, Parsipur's novel is a rewarding and enlightening encapsulation of her country's recent past." ―Booklist

"[Touba and the Meaning of Night] is both a sweeping chronicle of modern Iranian history and a study of the plight of twentieth-century Iranian women. . . [displaying] deft utilization of magic realism and Persian myths . . . rich and well-crafted. For all fiction collections." ―Library Journal (starred review)

"Shahrnush Parsipur's Touba and the Meaning of Night is... one of the unsurpassed masterpieces of modern Persian literature." ―Iranian.com

"With America and Iran engaged in a volatile stand-off, this now banned 1989 novel by one of Iran's most distinguished writers provides profound insights into the conflict between religion and modernity in modern Persia. . . . A feminist tour de force . . . among the classics of twentieth-century Middle Eastern Literature." ―Tikkun magazine

"Shahrnush Parsipur makes a case against every kind of fundamentalism. But above all she narrates a great history book and a great story. Not only does she borrow the oriental coin of Sherherazade, but she also avails herself artfully of the narrative technique of Western masters from Umberto Ecco to Gabrielle García Marquez." ―Die Zeit (Germany)

"Shahrnush Parsipur has achieved an unusually powerful and vivid portrait of her homeland." ―Der Standard (Austria)

"Like Parsipur herself, her protagonists are women whose rebellions are not merely political but existential, against a system that denies them their individual dignity and stunts their potentials for growth." ―Azar Nafisi, author of Reading Lolita in Tehran

"Houshmand and Talattof have rendered a moving translation of Shahrnush Parsipur’s masterpiece. The tale combines realism with flights of fantasy in a tale set against the backdrop of modern Iranian history." ―Beth Baron, author of Egypt as a Woman

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9781558615571: Touba and the Meaning of Night (Women Writing the Middle East)

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ISBN 10:  1558615571 ISBN 13:  9781558615571
Publisher: The Feminist Press at CUNY, 2008
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9780714531366: Touba and the Meaning of Night

Marion..., 2007
Softcover

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Book Description Feminist Press at The City University of New York, United States, 2006. Hardback. Condition: New. Feminist Press. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. Touba and the Meaning of Night introduces English-speaking readers to the masterpiece of a great contemporary Persian writer, renowned in her native Iran and much of Western Europe. This remarkable epic novel, begun during one of the author s several imprisonments, was published in Iran in 1989 to great critical acclaim and instant bestseller status--until Shahrnush Parsipur was again arrested a year later, and all her works banned by the Islamic Republic. After her father s death, fourteen-year-old Touba proposes to a fifty-two-year-old relative in order to ensure her family s financial security. Intimidated by her outspoken nature, Touba s husband soon divorces her. She marries again, this time to a prince with whom she experiences tenderness and physical passion and has four children--but he proves unfaithful and unreliable. Touba is granted a divorce from him, and lives out the rest of her long life as matriarch to a changing household of family members and refugees. From a distinctly Iranian viewpoint, Tuba and the Meaning of Night explores the ongoing tensions between rationalism and mysticism, tradition and modernity, male dominance and female will. Throughout, it defies Western stereotypes of Iranian women and Western expectations of literary form, speaking in an idiom that reflects both the unique creative voice of its author and an important tradition in Persian women s writing. Seller Inventory # BTE9781558615199

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