Kirkus Reviews QR Code
WOMEN WITHOUT MEN by Shahrnush Parsipur

WOMEN WITHOUT MEN

By Shahrnush Parsipur

Pub Date: Dec. 1st, 1998
ISBN: 0-8156-0552-8
Publisher: Syracuse Univ.

The oppression of women in Iran’s male-dominated culture and the power inherent in female solidarity are the themes of Parsipur’s ingenious “novel,” which is composed of thirteen related stories depicting five abused women whose assertions of their independence take vivid symbolic forms. A girl terrified of sex, for example, becomes a tree in order to retain her virginity; a docile woman killed by her dictatorial brother is reborn, only to be victimized again by a man; a resourceful prostitute surprisingly finds both security and pleasure in marriage. The image of a mystical “garden” where freedom beckons dominates these alternately dour and playful tales, which carry their messages lightly, thanks to their author’s affectionate and engagingly robust humor.