"Law of Desire contains some very interesting, often heartbreaking, life stories of women. . . . It is the first of its kind to deal with a taboo issue which, despite its social and political importance, has been neglected and overlooked by a wide range of political opinion in Iran."—Feminist Review
"Haeri’s study is masterful because she is able to use the investigation of temporary marriage to explore so many aspects of Iranian society; male-female relationships, Shi’a-Sunni religious divisions, and the nature of contact in Islamic legal codes."—William O. Beeman, Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science
"Despite its long practice, no serious sociological research has been previously undertaken into the social implications of mut’a, or sigheh. . . . The difficulties of such a study are well described in this remarkable book."—Times Literary Supplement
Law of Desire explores an institution in which sexuality, morality, religious rules, secular laws, and cultural practices converge. Drawing on rich interviews that would have been denied a Western anthropologist, Haeri describes the concept of a temporary marriage contract as it is practiced in Iran. This revised edition includes a postscript contextualizing this classic work within contemporary Iranian society.
Shahla Haeri is associate professor of anthropology at Boston University. She is also the author of No Shame for the Sun: Lives of Professional Pakistani Women.
6 x 9, 312 pages