Forever Under Construction

Giant Boarding School

Posted in Books, Iran by homeyra on November 16, 2006

Thanks to Naj for pointing out Deborah Campbell’s book.

[…Sitting at a plastic table surrounded by sirens in tight jeans and form-fitting manteaus (the shirt-dresses urban women prefer to the chador) busy smoking cigarettes and reapplying lip gloss, I found it impossible to imagine that this giant boarding school might be on the brink of war…]  and more…

Here is an interesting article on Campbell’s website:  Can Journalism be Art?


6 Responses

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  1. Dr. Victorino de la Vega said, on November 17, 2006 at 12:54 am

    Hi Homie, Naj,

    Just noticed I had forgotten to add you to my blogroll…

    But I have now remedied to this unforgivable ignorance!


  2. Naj said, on November 17, 2006 at 3:33 am

    Thanks for links you both.
    Homeyra, do you have a book list on your blog? I thought you may be interested in Veils and Words by Farzaneh Milani.

    ( I find it so reppulsive that “Without my Daughter” and (even) “Reading Lolita” become bestselling representatives of Iranian women’s life in Iran!

    Dr Victorino, the way I am going, you may soon want to alias me as Persian_Canadian Fundamentalist 😉

  3. Naj said, on November 17, 2006 at 3:34 am

    aaaargh! can someone edit me please! 🙂

  4. homeyra said, on November 17, 2006 at 6:12 am

    Thank you dear Professor:)
    Naj: I was also surprised by the success of Reading Lolita, it was not my cup of tea, I didn’t even finish it.
    But the other book inspired me:
    I have a very good American friend, married to an Iranian living in Teheran. I have repeatedly suggested to her that I will gather all the necessary evidence- doctor certificates to say that she was beaten … etc etc- she just has to go to the US and write a Bestseller, as long as she divides the proceeds with her husband and me.
    So far she has refused.

  5. Naj said, on November 17, 2006 at 9:46 pm

    Hi Homeyra,

    My problem with Betty Mahmoodi’s bestseller is exactly that: The wife beating is NOT an Iranian phenomenon; it’s a global one. To confine domestic violence to a particular culture, instead of to individual disturbances of psychology is what I am thoroughly against.

    My question is: would an American writing about her American-doctor-husband’s beating become a bestseller? Or are the politics at work in promoting one story versus the other? Or is it that as a whole human population we prefer to read about violence and vice, especially if it is in the “other” whom we have branded evil?

    You have the example of your American friend, I have the example of a number of my french, american, german, danish, swedish friends who have followed their partner to Iran, who have loved its culture, and who have become even more “iranian” than I, especially when it comes to “taarof” 🙂

    Domestic abuse is a psychologically intricate issue, but it is by no means a cultural/religious one. And I always question the real motivation of those who capitalize on sensationalization of such matters in a specific historical context. MArketing strategy? Perhaps more so than ideological, I think.

  6. homeyra said, on November 17, 2006 at 9:49 pm

    Dear Naj, I have no doubt about that. For such an average book to become a bestseller … if we give the benefit of the doubt it was only marketing.

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