"With intimacy and great sensitivity, Kousha provides a depth of insight into Iranian society, giving readers a chance to experience a culture vastly different from mainstream America's. Kousha, herself born in Iran, interviewed 15 Iranian women, who here tell deeply personal stories that begin with childhood. . . . A fascinating book that reads much like fiction and is often difficult to put down. Intended as a scholarly text, this work is sure to capture the interest and hearts of readers of popular fiction as well as those researching the culture of Iran. Highly recommended."—Library Journal
Mahnaz Kousha interviewed fifteen Iranian women in Tehran who originally came from cities and towns throughout Iran. The youngest was 38, the eldest in her 50s. Extensive excerpts from their dialogues form the heart of this remarkable book.
With admirable candor the women explore their relationships with their mothers, fathers, husbands, and children. They reflect upon the institutions of courtship and marriage and address issues of childcare, housework, and women’s employment. They talk openly about their concerns, ambitions, and frustrations. Finally, they discuss everyday personal problems and the solutions they devise to cope with such difficulties. Offset by telling commentary, these conversations offer significant firsthand insights into the life experiences of the modern Iranian woman and her brave search for identity.
Because it covers previously uncharted ground, this volume fills a sizable gap in the study of gender and family relationships in Iran. Abundant footnotes on similar studies in the United States and other countries not only add sociological richness, but also make the book relevant beyond Iran and the Middle East.
Mahnaz Kousha is associate professor of sociology at Macalester College, Saint Paul, Minnesota.
6 x 9, 256 pages