Decades before the Iranian revolution of 1979, which placed the country under a repressive religious rule, Shusha Guppy grew up in a Persia delicately balanced between traditional Islamic life and the transforming forces of westernization. In this eloquent memoir, Guppy recreates the lost world of her childhood before the oil boom and the eventual overthrow of the Shah. Her lively tales about relatives, friends, music, drama, religious holidays, and celebrations bring to life a vanished society caught between the oppressive but stable strictures of the past and the unsettling freedoms of the future
About The Author:
Shusha Guppy is a journalist and musician.
Table Of Contents:The Blindfold Horse1Haji Mahmood2The Tale of Dash Jafar4Haji Seyyed Mohammad9Amineh–the Second Wife17Haji Ali-Baba20Haji Ali-Babas Line25Kazem39Journeys47The Wedding52The Blind Midwife58The First House65Our House68The Garden73The Household80Ali Gets Married84Street Life88Neighbours98Prince Afsar111At Scheherazads117The New Day127The Princess138A Little Night Music147The Hypochondriac155Blame it on the Movies166Aroos, the Bride of Brides176Ramadan184Norooz–the New Year191Doctor Hypocrates Cabinet200The Society of Friends212Country Life221Last Years236Glossary of Persian Words243
The Blindfold Horse
Guppy evokes the magic, cultural tradition and social fabric of her youth in Iran, recalling her community through warmly humorous yet unsentimental anecdotes. (May)
The title and opening chapter of this memoir lead one to think that the book will deal with the oppression of women in Iran (formerly Persia). Although there are abundant observations regarding the status of and restrictions on women, both under the Shah and Khomeini, the general tone is of contentment. The author is from the upper middle class, where restrictions coexist with many pleasures and advantages. The value of this work therefore is that it offers a contrasting viewpoint to much of the current research on women in Islamic societies, e.g., Earl L. Sullivans Women in Egyptian Public Life ( LJ 3/15/86), Nawal El Saadawis The Hidden Face of Eve ( LJ 3/1/82), and Elizabeth Ferneas Women and the Family in the Middle East ( LJ 3/1/85). A comparable work is Naila Minais Women in Islam ( LJ 6/15/81), which although more scholarly, also provides balance to the available literature. Recommended.– Frada L. Mozenter, Univ. of North Carolina at Charlotte Lib.
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