Women In Exile / Edition 1

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Attempting to come to terms with her own life in exile, Afkhami, who was forced out of Iran because of her work for women's rights, sought out and talked with 12 other women from all parts of the globe. Their stories offer a rare and special opportunity to witness the harrowing experience of flight and dislocation and to marvel at the resilience of the human spirit.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The 12 women Afkhami interviewed for this intimate portrait of lives in political exile have settled in the U.S., many becoming American citizens. A few, like Fatima Ahmet Ibrahim, a feminist who called for women's rights within the bounds of traditional Islamic culture in her native Sudan, long to return home. ``Like a plant pulled from its soil, its roots withering in the cold air,'' Ibrahim laments, ``I am out of my element in the West.'' Others do not feel at home in their country of origin nor their adopted land. ``Being in exile is being outside, at the edge,'' says Marjorie Agosin, a Chilean human-rights activist who teaches at Wellesley. Afkhami, who left Iran in 1978 when her feminist views became unpopular shortly before the revolution there, begins this remarkable collection with an account of her own exile. The stories resonate with the reader long after the pages are closed. Afkhami exhibits considerable skill in the essence of these women's journeys. Richly detailed, the stories seem cinematic in their narrative, so much so that one forgets this isn't a screen treatment but the oral history of 13 women's flight from political oppression. Photos not seen by PW. (Oct.)
Library Journal
The women in this book are typical of waves of women refugees crossing borders every day, seeking to fulfill their lives in ways denied them at home. Though it is frightening to be without a home or the comfort of family, difficulty breeds strength, and struggling to hold onto the past in an unfamiliar milieu paradoxically expands horizons. Some may remain foreigners living abroad; but some, like these women, no longer the victims of patriarchal domination, build bridges to the next generation. The feminist infrastructure they have built cannot be destroyed. Their biggest problem is teaching men how to cope with the change in their women. Some, like Maria Teresa Tula (Hear My Testimony, LJ 5/1/94) and Alicia Partney (The Little School, Cleis Pr., 1991) have told their stories before, but this book offers an overall picture. A good buy for womens' studies collections.-Louise Leonard, Univ. of Florida Libs., Gainesville
Afkhami, executive director of the Sisterhood Is Global Institute and a refugee from Iran, tells the stories of 12 women of varying social and political backgrounds in exile from places such as Africa, Cambodia, El Salvador, and Russia. The women describe their native cultures and their reactions to American culture's freedoms and drawbacks. Lacks a bibliography and an index. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780813915432
  • Publisher: University of Virginia
  • Publication date: 10/19/1994
  • Series: Feminist Issues Series
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 228
  • Sales rank: 980,831
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.52 (d)

Table of Contents

Women in Exile: A Prologue 1
Jade in a Bottle of Wine 17
Birds without Nests 34
An Answer Waiting for a Question 50
A Woman in a Borrowed Country 64
Of Chance and Choice 78
They Cut Off My Voice, So I Grew Two Voices 100
I Was Never Homesick at Home 110
I Realized I Was the Enemy 124
I Invented a Country 140
In the Frame of My Life I Saw My Mother's Picture 150
A Lucky Woman 162
Arrow at Rest 191
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