Nine Parts of Desire: The Hidden World of Islamic Women

Nine Parts of Desire: The Hidden World of Islamic Women

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by Geraldine Brooks
     
 

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Nine Parts of Desire: The Hidden World of Islamic Women is the story of Brook's intrepid journey toward an understanding of the women behind the veils, and of the often contradictory political, religious, and cultural forces that shape their lives. In fundamentalist Iran, Brooks finagles an invitation to tea with the ayatollah's widow - and discovers that Mrs.… See more details below

Overview

Nine Parts of Desire: The Hidden World of Islamic Women is the story of Brook's intrepid journey toward an understanding of the women behind the veils, and of the often contradictory political, religious, and cultural forces that shape their lives. In fundamentalist Iran, Brooks finagles an invitation to tea with the ayatollah's widow - and discovers that Mrs. Khomeini dyes her hair. In Saudi Arabia, she eludes the severe segregation of the sexes and attends a bacchanal, laying bare the hypocrisy of this austere, male-dominated society. In war-torn Ethiopia, she watches as a female gynecologist repairs women who have undergone genital mutilation justified by a distorted interpretation of Islam. In villages and capitals throughout the Middle East, she finds that a feminism of sorts has flowered under the forbidding shroud of the chador as she makes other startling discoveries that defy our stereotypes about the Muslim world. Nine Parts of Desire is much more than a captivating work of firsthand reportage; it is also an acute analysis of the world's fastest-growing religion, deftly illustrating how Islam's holiest texts have been misused to justify the repression of women. It was, after all, the Shiite leader Ali who proclaimed that "God created sexual desire in ten parts, then gave nine parts to women."

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Having spent six years covering the Middle East for the Wall Street Journal, Brooks presents an exploration of the daily life of Muslim women and the often contradictory forces that shape their lives. (Jan.)
From the Publisher
“Frank, enraging, and captivating.”
The New Yorker

“Powerful and enlightening...Brooks presents stunning vignettes of Muslim women...and carefully distinguishes misogyny and oppressive cultural traditions from what she considers the true teachings of the Koran.”
Publishers Weekly

“There has been nothing finer on the subject from a Western observer...she looks at it from the heart...mixing historical perspective with piercingly observed journalism.”
Newsday

“Avoids both the sensational and the stereotypical...insightful...a valid, entertaining account of women in the Muslim world.”
New York Times Book Review

“A rare look at a significant segment of the world's population that literally has been cloaked in mystery for generations.”
Seattle Times

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780141029405
Publisher:
Penguin Books, Limited (UK)
Publication date:
03/28/2010

Meet the Author

Geraldine Brooks is a native of Australia and a graduate of Sydney University and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. She lives in Virginia with her husband, Tony Horwitz. This is her first book.

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