Women of Deh Koh: Lives in an Iranian Village

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This fascinating collection lifts their concealing veils to bring us face to face with the women of a contemporary Iranian mountain village. Their situations are primitive and oppressive by Western standards, but the author, an anthropologist who has lived a number of years in Iran, lets the women speak through her deft pen, capturing their voices in tales of domestic power politics, childbearing, barrenness, marriage, old age. Like the relationships in this village of gossipy, intermarried and extended families, the 12 stories are interconnected, revealing a pungent, incisive view of women's society as a whole, and multifaceted portraits of some memorable individuals: Perijan, who was so embarrassed at being pregnant at a relatively advanced age that she hid her condition until after she gave birth; tough, elderly Maryam who, upon being widowed, braved the trials and controversy of remaining on her own land rather than accept a subordinate position in the household of one of her married brothers. Always denied a place in the public arena (even more so in the past decade since the revolution) the women of Deh Koh shape and control the home sphere--an area that these sagacious tales vivify with respect and integrity. (Apr.)
Library Journal
This book illuminates Iranian life with sympathy and understanding. It contains 12 chapters highlighting women's lives in an isolated Iranian village, less isolated today than a generation ago, but still dominated by tradition, religion, and a simplicity lost long ago in the city. The author, a trained anthropologist, skillfully portrays her heroines and their lives, characterized by major events such as motherhood, marriage, family crises, and constant struggle for livelihood in the sparse mountainous land. Her gentle and moving prose helps us understand a world different from our own, where religion and custom and family obligation have their own logic, infused with sorrow, but also joy and beauty. This should have some appeal. Recommended.-- Elizabeth R. Hayford, Associated Colls . of the Midwest, Chicago
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780140149937
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 9/28/1991
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 5.24 (w) x 7.84 (h) x 0.61 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments Prologue
1. About Having a Late Child and How Perijan Dealt with This Embarrassment
2. About Space and How Maryan Got Back a Verandah
3. About Barrenness and What Tala Did about It
4. On Wealth and Poverty and How Gouhar and Aftab Had a Falling-out
5. About Telling It as It Is and How Golgol Left Her Husband and Went Back to Him
6. A Betrothal, a Rape, and a Guess about Turan's Fate
7. The Little Changes that Happened When Simin Became Avdal's Wife
8. Mamalus Is Telling a Story
9. Watching the World from Sarah's Loom
10. Setara, Six Proposals, Four Engagements, and Three Husbands the Wiser
11. About Crazy People and Butterfly's Silence
12. Huri on Beads, Stringing a Necklace of Embers Epilogue

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