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La mujer que leía demasiado

3.47  ·  Rating Details ·  145 Ratings  ·  36 Reviews
Teherán, mediados del siglo xix, la corte del sha atraviesa por momentos convulsos entre conjuras e intrigas de palacio. Todo bajo la atenta mirada de la reina madre. En medio de este tenso ambiente sobreviene un hecho que va a alterar aún más los difíciles equilibrios del poder: la súbita e inesperada aparición de una mujer cuyas ideas, consideradas subversivas y herética ...more
528 pages
Published August 30th 2010 by Alianza editorial
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A couple of months ago I was browsing through the antiquarian book stalls where I live. The vendors are very dedicated people; all year around they sell their wares in the market square under the high heavens, only covering their delicate paper goods with tarpaulins when the inclemencies threaten to dilute the ink and turn the cloth covers into rags. Fortunately it was sunny the day I was there so everything was on show, even the older and more fragile volumes. I fingered the binding of some, tu ...more
Mar 23, 2015 Rowena rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Rowena by: Proustitute
"If one were to believe her highness, the whole country was on the verge of revolution, with women deploying an artillery of inflammatory prose, wielding books like bucklers, and taking up pens as if they were swords." Bahiyyih Nakhjavani, The Woman Who Read Too Much

Most of my favourite fiction books have a strong feminist element. This is the kind of book I adore; stories of women refusing to accept traditional or patriarchal values and vowing to live the lives they wish to lead regardless of
Because of its title, I was destined to read this novel. I am the woman who reads too much. But for the poetess of Qazvin, her excessive reading brought tragedy and an early death, while for me it is saving my sanity.

Let me say right off that this is an extremely challenging read. Its larger than life characters go by several names and titles each. It is set in mid 19th century Persia. It is told from four different points of view. The time sequence is a tangled and overlapping web. If I hadn't
Leslie Reese
The Woman Who Read Too Much is a novel inspired by the life of Tahirih Qurratu’l-Ayn---a hugely mysterious figure about whom even less would be known were it not for the “foreign diplomats, travellers, and scholars” who spread her infamy into the West during the 19th century. It is known that she was born into and educated by a family of mullahs who apparently took things too far. She pursued independent thought and sharp reasonings which emboldened her to challenge the religious orthodoxy of th ...more
Feb 05, 2008 Delphine rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Un texte superbe sur la condition de la femme au sein de la culture musulmane. En Iran, au XIXème siècle, une poétesse est emprisonnée pour ses prises de position. C'est en effet elle qui a demandé le divorce et quitté son mari.

Sur ordre du Shah, elle se retrouve donc enfermée dans la résidence du maire. Mais sa présence n'est pas sans susciter des questions. Cette femme, plus cultivée que les hommes qui l'entourent, est dangereuse aux yeux de ces derniers.

Autour d'elle, le destin de plusieurs p
The title seems like an oxymoron.
May 18, 2013 Chiara rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dunque, era stato solo per quello? [...] Tutti quei complotti e quelle congiure, arresti e interrogatori, accoltellamenti, avvelenamenti, gelosie e recriminazioni, non erano stati altro che racconti, nient'altro che storie?
Creazione e rivelazione non hanno niente a che fare con tutto questo. Lasciate che i preti facciano suonare le loro campane. Questi libri non sono sacri, anche se ci sono dentro delle madri. Nessuno di essi è il Grande Libro di tutti i libri. Le storie non hanno simili presunz
Eleonora Splendiani
Sono delusa.... Ero rimasta affascinata dalla quarta di copertina ed ho iniziato a leggere con molto entusiasmo... Quattro punti di vista differenti che narrano la medesima storia, quella della poetessa di Qazvin,un personaggio scomodo quanto potente.
Belli i temi toccati, l'emancipazione femminile, il contesto storico interessante, la visione dell'occidente in una Persia del 1800, il coraggio e l'intelligenza di una donna che sceglie di non essere schiava.... ma il libro è scritto davvero con i
Feb 11, 2016 Cheryl rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adultlit
This book is not easy to read because the reader is plunged headlong into a time and space that's unlabeled and totally unfamiliar (unless maybe you are properly schooled in the history of Iran). I picked it up because I was intrigued by a book that had been translated into so many other languages first before it was published in English. The novel is a collection of "books" written from the points of view of different female characters and their interaction about the Poetess of Qazvin, a litera ...more
Nov 22, 2015 Kookie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wanted to love this, but I just didn't. Slow. Meandering storyline and jumbled timelines frustrated a potentially interesting story with a vitally important message about female literacy. Disappointing.
J.S. Dunn
Dense prose, the specific gravity of say, the planet Jupiter [ if that is still classed as a planet]. But the subject matter is the downer. Bring a rusty razor blade for the human condition looks hopeless in the mideast. After all, they have yet to have plumbing.

My appetite has dwindled for tales of how awful certain mideastern cultures are. When are they going to catch up? What's with the willful ignorance?

The most striking thing about this tale is how little society has changed in Iran since
While I like the idea of a book about an historical person who actually fought for women's education in 19th Century Persia, I was disappointed by the author's writing style. Many things were repeated in a confusing way and the storyline was difficult to be followed. I had the impression that the author wanted to show her artistic and writing skills by writing complicated chapters and an by using an alternative narration, but that the trick didn't work. The books could have been way more interes ...more
Umbereen Beg-mirza
I desperately wanted to like this book- having loved the Saddlebag. But the book is slow and thick like treacle- pages and pages of the same words, slowly swirling towards a conclusion we already know.
Apr 14, 2010 Oshun rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Une reflection poétique sur la condition féminine dans l'islam, le résiliance et la spiritualité.
Sin terminar.

Lo he dejado oficialmente; no digo que no lo vaya a leer y terminar nunca, pero por ahora ahí se queda, en el limbo, porque no me he visto capacitada para terminarlo. No es que no me haya gustado o que me haya horrorizado, sino que he ido perdiendo las ganas de leerlo y me cuesta mucho ponerme con él, para mi desgracia.

Mantengo lo dicho durante mi lectura del mismo (que he avanzado más desde lo último indicado, pero ya no merece la pena ni marcarlo), la autora sabe escribir de mane
"A woman should know her place."

- the grand Mullah, uncle/father-in-law of the poetess of Qazvin

This is a story about a woman who most definitely did not know her place, or rather, she rejected the "place" that her society assigned to her. The story is based on a real woman, Tahirih Qurratu'l-Ayn, the poetess of Qazvin, who lived and died in the mid 19th century in Persia, during the time of the Qajar dynasty.

The poetess was the daughter of a Mullah who took the unusual step of defying the stri
Daniela Jannuzzi
Oct 05, 2016 Daniela Jannuzzi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Quattro stelle piene per questo romanzo particolare. Dal titolo ci si potrebbe aspettare la storia di una donna, in realtà ci troviamo davanti alla storia di un intero paese. Il libro è diviso in più parti e tocca i punti di vista di tutte la persona che hanno a vuto contati con questa donna coraggiosa. Ma si tratta anche della storia di tutte le donne, nella Persia ottocentesca. Essere donna era difficile, eppure questa figura coraggiosa ha sfidato le convezioni di un paese maschilista e ha ape ...more
Sherry Schwabacher
Táhirih (Arabic: "The Pure One") or Qurratu'l-`Ayn (Arabic: "Solace/Consolation of the Eyes") are both titles of Fátimih Baraghání (1814 or 1817 - August 16-27, 1852), an influential poet and theologian of the Bábí Faith in Iran. Her life, influence, and execution made her a key figure of the religion. Bahíyyih Nakhjavání has written a novel that takes the raw facts of Táhirih's life and creates a dreamlike meditation on her influence on women's rights, famously stating to the Grand Vazir "You c ...more
While this novel has rich prose, the story seemed somewhat repetitive, slow and grating. I am wondering if I didn't have the patience without the cultural knowledge or context. The book was "inspired by a nineteenth-century Persian woman, Tahirith Qurrwtu'l-Ayn, a renowned poet and theologian, radical and outcast." It revolved back and forth upon itself about the misunderstanding, mistrust, and implications of an Englishwoman who could read and had knowledge and religion. The Poetess of Qazvin, ...more
M. T. Moscariello
Ha un inizio complesso e lento e scrittura che forse molti giudicherebbero ostica, ma credo che sia uno di quei romanzi per cui valga la pena continuare a leggere ed arrivare alla fine. È un libro sulle donne, che descrive 4 ruoli: la madre, la moglie, la sorella e la figlia (gli ultimi due capitoli sono a mio parere i migliori). Il personaggio principale è questa santa martire della religione Bahai, Fátimih Zarrín Táj Baragháni, ma più che di religione parla di donne in un contesto storico, met ...more
World Literature Today
"Bahiyyih Nakhjavani’s third novel, The Woman Who Read Too Much, retells the life and martyrdom of the nineteenth-century Persian Bahá’í leader, poet, and early champion of women’s literacy and emancipation movement, Tahirih Qurratu’l-Ayn (ca. 1814–52). . . Nakhjavani’s treatment of the historical figure is not so much to paint her as an eloquent proponent of the nascent faith but to apply her considerable narrative dexterity to an imaginative novel portraying the life and times of a woman with ...more
Oct 24, 2015 Claire rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: did-not-finish
This specific text is not a book against women reading! It is a 19th century Iranian feminist text. It's about a family, and is split into three books: of the mother, of the sister, and of the daughter.

The importance of universal literacy made me so uncomfortable with this novel. But what is important is not just being able to read, as much as understanding the implications others have attempted to communicate through the medium of text.
So, of course, a 100% in the mechanics of language is wond
Nadia Marques de Carvalho
I haven't read a book like this one before. It seems to verge in different times, spaces and energies. It was a beautiful read overall. There is quite some criticism here on Nakhjavani's writing style - I am inclined to suggest that people didn't read past the first 80 pages, as the beginning was pretentiously written and I found everything to be unnecessarily convoluted. Nakhjavani spends far too long setting the context and the reader can't be blamed for losing focus. If I wasn't reading it fo ...more
Renee Gimelli
Aug 07, 2016 Renee Gimelli rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Translated texts demand commitment. This was a challenging read and it looks like I am late to the party. The title was irresistible to me (often accused of the same) but the history of Iran is like looking at a traffic accident and being unable to tear your eyes away. Unfortunately, it seems as if the poetess of Qazvin made a very little difference in that society's advancement into the current century
Jan 18, 2016 Autumn rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
There was nothing terribly wrong with this book, and I wish I had a better idea of who what's out there as far as middle eastern lit, besides the kite runner or other nonsense that looks to be marketed or created for a western audience. (Maybe it's not, I don't know, thats a total judgment without any real basis) My main problem with this book was that the jumping back and forth in time was confusing and it kept me from feeling very engaged with any of the characters.
A Yusuf
I personally enjoyed only the first half of the book.
It seemed to me like the author was struggling to keep the story going after that, and the whole mixup between timelines and chronology was a little too much to bear. This was a fascinating read, all said and done, but the author could have tried to make it a better read without confusing the reader throughout.
Dec 09, 2015 Theut rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Quattro donne, e quattro punti di vista, che raccontano una stessa storia: l'influenza che la poetessa di Qazvin, ha avuto sulle loro vite, nel bene e nel male. Interessante la ricostruzione storica dell'Iran ottocentesco (e dei diplomatici stranieri interessati solamente a mantenere i loro privilegi). Peccato che la narrazione sia spesso ripetitiva e non sempre lo stile accurato.
May 25, 2016 Artemis rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A very important book that sheds light on the importance of women and the importance of education and how, in an Islamic context, we seem to have forgotten that Islam preaches the education of our daughters and the liberation of women more than anything else.
Dec 09, 2016 Niala rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I feel like this should be about me ( solely based on the title, I'd like to think I'm a woman who reads too much) but sadly it's not. it's about one of my favorite women in history Tahirih. and it you don't have anything against her beliefs you'd really enjoy this one
No, non ci siamo. Proprio non mi ha entusiasmato questa storia che prometteva così bene dalla quarta di copertina.... Il racconto è piatto e ripetitivo, i personggi sono privi di sostanza.
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Bahiyyih Nakhjavání is a Persian writer educated in the United Kingdom and the United States. After teaching literature at universities in North America and Europe, she came to live in France where she has been conducting workshops in creative writing/reading for the past decade. Bahiyyih Nakhjavání's books, both fiction and non-fiction, have been translated into many languages. In 2007, she recei ...more
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