Jasmine and Stars: Reading More Than Lolita in Tehran

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Univ of North Carolina Press, Mar 5, 2007 - Literary Criticism - 192 pages
In a direct, frank, and intimate exploration of Iranian literature and society, scholar, teacher, and poet Fatemeh Keshavarz challenges popular perceptions of Iran as a society bereft of vitality and joy. Her fresh perspective on present-day Iran provides a rare insight into this rich culture alive with artistic expression but virtually unknown to most Americans.

Keshavarz introduces readers to two modern Iranian women writers whose strong and articulate voices belie the stereotypical perception of Iranian women as voiceless victims in a country of villains. She follows with a lively critique of the recent best-seller Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books, which epitomizes what Keshavarz calls the "New Orientalist narrative," a view marred by stereotype and prejudice more often tied to current geopolitical conflicts than to an understanding of Iran.

Blending in firsthand glimpses of her own life--from childhood memories in 1960s Shiraz to her present life as a professor in America--Keshavarz paints a portrait of Iran depicting both cultural depth and intellectual complexity. With a scholar's expertise and a poet's hand, she helps amplify the powerful voices of contemporary Iranians and leads readers toward a deeper understanding of the country's past and present.


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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - bezoar44 - LibraryThing

I'm glad to have read this. I've only read free samples of Reading Lolita in Tehran (RLT), which Jasmine and Stars criticizes. But, as it will probably be years before I get around to it, I'll capture ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - heina - LibraryThing

Silly and fluffy at best, and dangerously optimistic about the state of Iran and Islam ar worst, this book is still worth a read for those who have already completed the work it purports to refute ... Read full review


What Does the Elephant Look Like?
1 The Jasmine the Stars and the Grasshoppers
The Voice of Our Earthly Rebellion
3 My Uncle the Painter
Fireworks of the Imagination
What Is Wrong with Reading Lolita in Tehran
6 Tea with My Father and the Saints

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About the author (2007)

Fatemeh Keshavarz is Roshan Institute Chair in Persian Studies at the University of Maryland. She is author of four previous books, including Reading Mystical Lyric: The Case of Jalal Al-Din Rumi and a volume of poetry.

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