Gender Studies

Written for the West: Reading Three Iranian Women’s Memoirs

The burgeoning cannon of memoirs and fiction written by or about Iranian women has saturated the literary scene of post-9/11America. We have seen literary works translated or mostly written by exiles that entice the curious western reader with Orientalist tales ofMuslim women as veiled, unveiling, powerless victims, or brave escapees of an inherently oppressive patriarchy. The titles and contents of many of these works show that appealing to a specific political climate and power structure is a key factor behind their production, dissemination, and consumption. Therefore, despite this literary boom, it is not certain whether these books add anything to our knowledge of Muslims or if, in fact, they actually obfuscate it.

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