Neither East Nor West: One Woman's Journey Through the Islamic Republic of Iran

Front Cover
Simon and Schuster, Feb 1, 2002 - True Crime - 416 pages
8 Reviews
Fusing travelogue, historical inquiry, and interviews with Iranians from all walks of life, Neither East Nor West is a landmark contribution to travel writing and to cultural studies, as well as a timely illumination of a nation deeply misunderstood by most Westerners. In describing life in Iran today, Christiane Bird, an American who spent part of her childhood there, breaks the silence that has surrounded Iran's culture -- unlike its politics -- for nearly twenty years.
Traveling alone and largely by bus, Bird journeys from the modern, bustling capital of Tehran to the medieval holy city of Qom, from the sacred pilgrimage site of Mashhad -- visited by more than twelve million Shi'ites annually -- to the isolated valley of Alamut, once home to the legendary cult of the Assassins. She visits mosques, public baths, Khomeini's former home, and a Caspian Sea resort, and attends prayer meetings and a horse racing meet. Along the way, she talks to muleteers and ayatollahs, Kurds and Turkomans, Westernized and traditional Iranians -- many of whom invite her home for a cup of tea.
The result is an astounding, insightful journey into the Islamic Republic of Iran -- in all its beauty, ferocity, and contradiction.
  

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Review: Neither East Nor West: One Woman's Journey Through the Islamic Republic of Iran

User Review  - Aim-ish - Goodreads

This was a really engrossing, informative, and enlightening description of a series of personal encounters in the Islamic Republic. It's full of insight from many different Iranian perspectives reported by the author. It's fascinating and easy to read. Read full review

Review: Neither East Nor West: One Woman's Journey Through the Islamic Republic of Iran

User Review  - Iffat - Goodreads

Either she deliberately seemed confused or was really confused, I couldn't tell. Either she herself had many complexes and didn't know what to feel or wasn't really sure if she should be feeling this ... Read full review

Contents

BOUNDARIES
15
CONVERSATIONS IN NORTH TEHRAN
51
HOUSE CALLS
89
ONE WHO YEARNS FOR DEATH NEVER DIES
122
THE COMPANY OF WOMEN
147
A SECRET SHARED
182
STRANGE CHILDREN IN A STRANGE LAND
214
TO FIND GOOD ANSWERS TO GREAT QUESTIONS
260
THE SHADOW OF KINGS
301
DESERT CITIES
341
REENTRY
372
BIBLIOGRAPHY
391
Copyright

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About the author (2002)

Christiane Bird is the author of The Jazz and Blues Lover's Guide to the U.S. and New York Handbook, and a co-author of Below the Line: Living Poor in America. A graduate of Yale University and a former travel writer for the New York Daily News, she lives in New York City.

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