This is the first book in any language about the writing of women in Iran. For centuries any sense that there could be a literary tradition among women was suppressed. Since the middle of the 19th century, however, a number a of pioneering women have defied the traditional order to produce poetry and novels of the highest quality; but many of them have paid for their courage with accusations of immorality, promiscuity, heresy and even lunacy. This book traces the history of Iranian women writers of poetry, fiction and autobiography, in the context of social and cultural practices, particularly those relating to veiling and unveiling, silence and revelation. The author pays particular attention to the lives and works of Tahereh Qorratol'Ayn, Parvin E'tessami, Forugh Farrokhzad, Simin Daneshvar and Tahereh Saffarzadeh.
2A Note on Transliteration. Preface. Acknowledgments. 1. A Walled Society. PART ONE. Tradition: Wearing the Veil. 2. The Concept of Veiling. 3. The Perils of Writing. PART TWO. From Tahereh to Tahereh: The Poets. 4. Becoming a Presence: Tahereh Qorratol'Ayn. 5. Revealing and Concealing: Parvin E'tessami. 6. Unveiling the Other: Forugh Farrokhzad. 7. Negotiating Boundaries: Tahereh Saffarzadeh. PART THREE. Shaherzad's Daughters: The Storytellers. 8. Overcoming the Blank Page. 9. Disclosing the Self: Autobiography. PART FOUR. Voices Through the Veil. 10. The Birth of Neotraditional Feminism. Notes. Works Cited. Index.