The Woman Who Read Too Much: A Novel

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Stanford University Press, Mar 25, 2015 - Fiction - 336 pages
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Gossip was rife in the capital about the poetess of Qazvin. Some claimed she had been arrested for masterminding the murder of the grand Mullah, her uncle. Others echoed her words, and passed her poems from hand to hand. Everyone spoke of her beauty, and her dazzling intelligence. But most alarming to the Shah and the court was how the poetess could read. As her warnings and predictions became prophecies fulfilled, about the assassination of the Shah, the hanging of the Mayor, and the murder of the Grand Vazir, many wondered whether she was not only reading history but writing it as well. Was she herself guilty of the crimes she was foretelling?

Set in the world of the Qajar monarchs, mayors, ministers, and mullahs, this book explores the dangerous and at the same time luminous legacy left by a remarkable person. Bahiyyih Nakhjavani offers a gripping tale that is at once a compelling history of a pioneering woman, a story of nineteenth century Iran told from the street level up, and a work that is universally relevant to our times.

 

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THE WOMAN WHO READ TOO MUCH

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

A mid-19th-century Persian poetess clashes against old-world gender expectations, religious orthodoxy, and politics in this exquisite tale, based on the actual life of poet and theologian Tahirih ... Read full review

Contents

The Book of the Wife
69
The Book of the Sister
153
The Book of the Daughter
239
Afterword
315
Chronology of Corpses
321
Further Reading
323
Copyright

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About the author (2015)

Bahiyyih Nakhjavani grew up in Uganda, was educated in the United Kingdom and the United States, and now lives in France. She is the author of The Saddlebag and Paper as well as non-fiction works about fundamentalism and education. Her novels have been published in French, Italian, Spanish, German, Dutch, Greek, Turkish, Hebrew, Russian, and Korean. She was praised in the Times Literary Supplement as a "superb Persian novelist," and the French translation of The Woman Who Read Too Much was identified, in 2007, as "one of the best three books" of the year.

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