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My Sister, Guard Your Veil; My Brother, Guard Your Eyes: Uncensored Iranian Voices [Kindle Edition]

Azar Nafisi , Marjane Satrapi , Abbas Kiarostami , Shirin Neshat , Shohreh Aghdashloo , Lila Azam Zanganeh
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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Book Description

In the first anthology of its kind, Lila Azam Zanganeh argues that although Iran looms large in the American imagination, it is grossly misunderstood-seen either as the third pillar of Bush's infamous "axis of evil" or as a nation teeming with youths clamoring for revolution.

This collection showcases the real scope and complexity of Iran through the work of a stellar group of contributors-including Azar Nafisi and with original art by Marjane Satrapi. Their collective goal is to counter the many existing cultural and political clichés about Iran. Some of the pieces concern feminism, sexuality, or eroticism under the Islamic Republic; others are unorthodox political testimonies or about race and religion. Almost all these contributors have broken artistic and cultural taboos in their work.

Journalist Reza Aslan, author of No God But God, explains why Iran is not a theocracy but, rather, a "mullahcracy." Mehrangiz Kar, a lawyer and human rights activist who was jailed in Iran and is currently a fellow at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, argues that the Iranian Revolution actually engendered the birth of feminism in Iran. Journalist Azadeh Moaveni reveals the underground parties and sex culture in Tehran, while Gelareh Asayesh, author of Saffron Sky, writes poignantly on why Iranians are not considered white in America, even though they think they are. Poet and writer Naghmeh Zarbafian expounds on the surreal experience of reading censored books in Iran, while Roya Hakakian, author of Journey from the Land of No: A Girlhood Caught in Revolutionary Iran, recalls the happy days of Iranian Jews. With a sharp, incisive introduction by Lila Azam Zanganeh, this diverse collection will alter what you thought you knew about Iran.

"My Sister, Guard Your Veil; My Brother, Guard Your Eyes aims to corrode fixed ideas and turns cultural and political clichés on their heads . . . Iranians themselves live in a complex and schizophrenic reality, at a surreal crossroads between political Islam and satellite television, massive national oil revenues, and searing social inequalities."--From the Introduction by Lila Azam Zanganeh

Contributors include: Azar Nafisi, author of the best-selling Reading Lolita in Tehran, Marjane Satrapi, author of Persepolis, Shirin Neshat, internationally acclaimed visual artist, Abbas Kiarostami, award-winning filmmaker of Taste of Cherry, Shohreh Aghdashloo, Oscar nominee for House of Sand and Fog, Azadeh Moaveni, author of Lipstick Jihad

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This timely little book offers a thoughtful, wide-ranging and captivating introduction to a dynamic country most Americans still regrettably associate with romantic-exotic or religious-fanatical stereotypes. Centering on questions of identity and subjectivity in and outside Iran's Islamic Republic, the 15 prominent indigenous and ex-pat voices showcased in this collection include bestselling authors Azar Nafisi (Reading Lolita in Tehran), Azadeh Moaveni (Lipstick Jihad) and Marjane Satrapi (Persepolis), as well as renowned filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami, Oscar-nominated actress Shoreh Aghdashloo (House of Sand and Fog) and acclaimed visual artist Shirin Neshat. The brief, often breezy essays, reminiscences, reportage and interviews overturn the facile image of Iran as a single, homogenous entity, providing animated discussions of politics, sex, art, women's rights, racism, poetic culture, underground nightlife, Tehran's Jewish community, censorship, economic inequality and cross-cultural (mis)understanding under a regime that is highly oppressive but continually subverted. Arranged and framed with care by editor Zanganeh (and featuring original art by Satrapi), the book's contents resist an overarching, dogmatic point of view, presenting instead an open-ended invitation to dialogue. Readers will find this volume complex but accessible; it reveals the human stories behind the veil of the headlines. (Apr.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

A seemingly devout cleaning lady sweeps a client's living room while pornography plays on the TV. A comp-lit class analyzes Milan Kundera's Identity (1998) in a translation deleting two major components, sex and gender equality. Women's clothing mannequins gradually lose their femininity, including their faces, replaced by cardboard disks, and their hands, replaced by cylinders. Of such is life in Iran's capital, Tehran, home, at least originally, of most of the artists and intellectuals contributing to this collection. Together, they raise the flag of hope for a freer culture, though the only basis they show for that hope is their and their peers' talent and integrity. Reza Aslan, author of No god but God (2005), ruefully acknowledges that, despite Tehranians' disdain for the mullahs--a taxi is as likely to run one down as pick him up, he says--many more Iranians want the "mullahcracy." Other imaginative and provocative voices herein include filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami, Oscar-nominated actress Shohbeh Aghdashloo, and graphic novelist Marjane Satrapi (Persepolis, 2003). Ray Olson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Product Details

  • File Size: 443 KB
  • Print Length: 132 pages
  • Publisher: Beacon Press (April 1, 2006)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B001QPHNJ4
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #583,396 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book was published in 2006 and contained 15 contributions by as many Iranian writers or artists, most of whom were living in the West. There were 9 essays, 3 interviews, 2 excerpts from more or less autobiographical novels, and 1 speech. With these works, the editor sought to capture different aspects of Iranian identity, and narrow the gap between the realities of Iranian lives and the simplified images transmitted through the media.

As far as could be determined, the oldest writer was Dariush Shayegan (1935-), described as Iran's foremost philosopher and a theorist behind former president Mohammad Khatami's call in 1999 for a dialogue among civilizations, the filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami (1940-), and the lawyer and activist Mehrangiz Kar (1944-), who was imprisoned in 2000 after returning to Tehran from a conference abroad on political reform. Others included Shohreh Aghdashloo (1952-), an actress and the first Iranian nominated for an Oscar; Azar Nafisi (1955-), author of the memoir Reading Lolita in Tehran; Shirin Neshat (1957-), described as one of the best-known Iranian artists in the Western world; Marjane Satrapi (1969-) creator of the graphic novel Persepolis; Reza Aslan (1972-), who's written on Islam and democracy, particularly in the book No god but God: The Origins, Evolution, and Future of Islam; and Azadeh Moaveni (1976-), a writer for Time magazine. Elsewhere, the editor has said that she included roughly three generations of contributors: her own, those of her parents, and those of her grandparents. Of all the writers, 11 were women.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A complicated conversation June 20, 2006
My Sister, Guard Your Veil; My Brother, Guard Your Eyes understands that the articulation of Iran must be incomplete--that the contributors to this volume, women and men, give us their conversations, their essays, their reminiscences, is a gracious endeavor to color and shade a contemporary depiction of Iran which is very black and white. The voices in this book are varied and intelligent, and their stories offer a complicated look at a country, a history, nationalism, and the very notion of `home.' I loved it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Iranian eye opener September 11, 2007
I was surprised by what I found inside, and a bit shocked. Iran
has two cultures living within each other. There is a desperate air
of frustration of a people forced to live within the confines of
policies dictated by fundamentalism that is an uncomfortable fit
given the history of the country. Definitely recommend it.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Uneven July 26, 2009
Uneven collection of short stories, essays, and interviews by/with leading Iranian creative types. The personal stories are the most compelling, while some of the critical essays read like undergraduate assignments. One sometimes gets the feeling that all these people know each other and are presenting a very small picture of the state of current Iranian culture.

Recommended for the good bits, but there are much better books out there on this subject (by many of the contributors).
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5.0 out of 5 stars i enjoyed this, its not at all like Nafisi's other ... October 12, 2014
i enjoyed this, its not at all like Nafisi's other books and some of the chapters are better than others. interesting perspective that you would not otherwise hear about.
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