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Martyrdom Street Paperback – May 21, 2010

4.4 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Kashani-Sabet gathers together the scattered narratives of women's lives in both Iran and the United States, and weaves them together in a story that says much about the ways women continually reinvent and remake themselves and gives voice to their resilient spirit. A wonderful debut. --Persis Karim, author of Let Me Tell You Where I've Been: New Writing by Women of the Iranian Diaspora

About the Author

Firoozeh Kashani-Sabet is associate professor of history and director of the Middle East Center at the University of Pennsylvania. She is the author of Frontier Fictions: Shaping the Iranian Nation, 1804-1946 and Conceiving Citizens: Women, Sexuality, and Religion in Iran
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 130 pages
  • Publisher: Syracuse University Press; 1 edition (May 21, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0815609752
  • ISBN-13: 978-0815609759
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.4 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,899,310 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Beth S. Grossman on April 24, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
So little is written of Iran from a Persian perspective, and women's voices are even more silent. Professor Kashani-Sabet brings three women, of two generations, and two continents, to life. Her insights on their lives and loves (with friends, with lovers, with husbands, with parents) ring as true for the characters in the book as they do for all of us (Persian, immigrant, Jewish, Christian, American). It takes a few pages to get into the characters, to remember who is whom, and to get a sense of the time sequence, but once you have it straight, the book takes off beautifully. Don't forget to read the poem at the beginning!
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Format: Paperback
Kashani-Sabet offers interesting book with a complex narrative structure.
The plot takes place after the Iran-Iraq War, not during, but there are flashbacks to those years. The book is rich in imagery, and it’s one of the real strengths of the book. The creative narrative structure allows you to get different perspectives on the lives of Iranians and Iranian-Americans. Internet was definitely in existence and in use at that time. As an accomplished Iranian-American historian and novelist, Kashani-Sabet is in a unique position write about intertwined lives of Iranians on either side of the Atlantic.

In response to reviewers seeking anachronisms in a work of fiction, the chronology is sometime in the mid/late 1990s to early 2000s. In the section where the IPod and Internet are mentioned, there is a clear passage of time when Nasrin returns to Iran, and these references make the passage of time clear as does the introduction of section by the new cluster heading, “Faces of Parsa." Reviewers should really read a work carefully before posting their comments. I enjoyed it immensely and highly recommend it.
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Format: Paperback
The Iranian Revolution of 1979 and the subsequent Iran-Iraq War of 1980-1988 provide the context for the story of three Iranian women: Fatemeh, her daughter Nasrin, and Nasrin's best friend Yasaman.

The novel takes place twelve years after the revolution. Fatemeh travels to New York City, where Nasrin and Yasaman live, to attend her daughter's engagement party to Hamid. The intertwining narratives of the three women weave a picture of lives impacted by politics and war both within Iran and in the Iranian diaspora in the United States.

As their stories unfold we learn that in the first days of the revolution ten year-old Yasaman's father was assassinated in front of her, a trauma she continues to struggle with. Fearful of further attacks, her mother makes immediate arrangements for them to go into exile. When Nasrin's liberal school is replaced by one which indoctrinates students in revolutionary politics and religion, her university professor father and Fatemeh decide to send her out of the country.

Distance has altered the relationship between mother and daughter. Fatemeh does not tell Nasrin that in the war, an explosion injured Fatemeh nor that Nasrin's father has taken a second wife and has a son. Likewise, Nasrin and Yasaman's lives in New York no longer conform to the social mores in Iran. The picture of an exile community looking for vindication by the reinstatement of the Shah and the necessity of living within the American culture is vividly portrayed through Nasrin's and Yasaman's experiences.

The structure of the novel itself renders a picture of lives shattered by cataclysmic political events beyond the control of the individual. Each woman narrates her own story in mosaic fashion.
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Format: Paperback
Politics transforms the lives of three ordinary Iranian women. A moving, and at times disturbing, story about exile, war and love. The language is very evocative and lyrical.
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