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Women Without Men: A Novel of Modern Iran

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3.58  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,151 Ratings  ·  130 Reviews
"Using the techniques of both the fabulist and the polemicist, Parsipur continues her protest against traditional Persian gender relations in this charming, powerful novella."--"Publishers Weekly"

A modern literary masterpiece, "Women Without Men" creates an evocative and powerfully drawn allegory of life in contemporary Iran. Internationally acclaimed writer Shahrnush Pars
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ebook, 192 pages
Published January 10th 2012 by Feminist Press (first published 1978)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,586)
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Paquita Maria Sanchez
Oh great, I get to be a book club naysayer for the third time out of three, on the second book in a row that I voted for out of ten total potentials. I'm averaging 2.666 on club-related ratings here, which incidentally makes me happy because 666, but primarily makes me feel like Asshole McChoosy-pants. I hope the candidates I put forward all end up middling-to-sucky, or I'm sure going to look like a real taste snob. I swear I am not blindly obstinate. I double-swear I like books. Much.

The truth
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peiman-mir5 rezakhani
دوستانِ گرانقدر، این کتاب از 15 داستان تشکیل شده که برخی از آنها به یکدیگر مرتبط هستن... و داستان هایش بیشتر حول محورِ « پردۀ بکارت» در زنان میچرخه و دل نگرانی هایِ آنها در این مورد... به انتخاب قسمتهایی را برایتان مینویسم

چه میشد اگر مهدخت هزار دست داشت و هفته ایی پانصد بلوز میبافت؟؟ با هر دو دست یک دانه، هزار دست پانصد دانه.... ولی خوب آدم که پانصد دست نمیتواند داشته باشد، آنهم مهدخت که زمستان را دوست داشت... حالا اگر قرار باشد آدم هزار عدد دستکش دستش کند، پنج ساعت حداقل طول میکشد... چشم دولت ک
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Ahmad Sharabiani
عنوان: زنان بدون مردان؛ نویسنده: شهرنوش پارسی پور؛ مشخصات نشر: تهران، نشر قطره، 1368، در 140 ص
دستهایم را در باغچه میکارم؛ ... داستان برداشتی از شعر «وهم سبز» فروغ است (و البته جایی نیز اشارتی دارد)... ؛
Kirstine
Shahrnush Parsipur was - is - persecuted in Iran, where she’s from, for this book (among other things). Partly because she dares talk about, you know, sex, virginity, female sexuality. Topics that are not to be mentioned ever.

‘Women Without Men’ does reference the title of the Hemingway work ‘Men Without Women’. I haven’t read the latter, but in the afterword to this book, it says it’s a book where ultimately a life without women isn't particularly satisfying. The same (but in reverse) is the c
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Jimmy
I read a review that claimed that this is not a feminist novel. If it were a feminist novel, the characters would not rely on men, they would assert themselves powerfully at all times, and their lives would be better for it.

Umm, newsflash. A novel can be feminist without all its characters being feminists, strong women, and perfect all the time. That would be unrealistic and boring. Let's first understand that feminism is realism, i.e. realistic portrayal of women, including women who are not fe
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Saman Kashi
Jan 19, 2014 Saman Kashi rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novel
لینک دانلود این کتاب را در گروه "دانلود کتابهای نایاب" گذاشتهام و دوستان میتوانند به راحتی دانلودش کنند ...more
Chris
For the past few years, I have traveled to Washington DC and stayed a few days just to visit the museums. Plus, I live in Philly, so it’s like a two hour train trip. I’ve learned that the smaller Smithsonian tends to have the more interesting exhibits. I discovered a love for Whistler’s etchings at the Freer, and at the Hirshorn, I discovered that I do like some modern art and video installations. It was at the Hirshorn last summer that I heard of this book.
Last summer, the museum had a major e
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Mohammad
کتاب داستان چندزن است که هریک از رذیلتی مردانه که به آنها تحمیل شده دور می شوند و سرنوشتشان بهم پیوند میخورد: شهوت (مهدخت و زرین کلاه)، تمسخر و تحقیر(فرخ لقا)، غیرت (مونس) و بیمهری (فائزه) ر

پارسی پور در این کتاب برای زنان نسخه می پیچد: «میلیون ها آدم در آب غرق شده اند تا اولین آدم شنا کردن را بیاموزد» (ص43) ... اما جدا از اینکه روش این نسخه پیچی درست است یا نه (چیزی که زن ها باید درمورد آن نظر دهند) بنظرم فرم (داستان و نثر بی مزه آن) و محتوای نسخه (اینکه بکارت را بزرگترین مسئله زن ایرانی گرفته)
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Kavita
Feb 06, 2016 Kavita rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Leila Dehghan
Jul 25, 2013 Leila Dehghan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
کتاب من را به یاد قطعه ای از فروغ فرخزاد انداخت، چرا؟
بخوانید لذت ببرید شاید با من هم عقیده شدید

دست هایم را در باغچه می کارم
سبز خواهم شد
می دانم
می دانم
و پرستو ها در گودی انگشتان جوهریم
تخم خواهند گذاشت...
Faranak Bakhshipour
قصه زنهاییست که در هر بخش به طور جداگانه بخش تلخی از زندگیشان را میخوانیم
مهدختی که در باغ کرج درخت میشود
فائزه ای که عاشق امیر است و با زن برادرش رقابت آشپزی دارد.
مونس پیر دختر ساده ای که دوبار میمیرد و زنده میشود و قدرت خواندن ذهنها را دارد.
فاحشه ای که مردان همبسترش را بی سر میدید.
فرخ لقای میانسال زیبا که شوهرش را غیر عمد میکشد.
همه اینها در آخر به کرج میروند
که چه؟ که سرنوشتشان نه مثل هم که در کنار هم رقم بخورد؟
خانم پارسی پور به زن از چند بعد و در قالب چند زندگی نگاه میکند عریانش میکند تفسیرش میک
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Bjorn
Sep 07, 2015 Bjorn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: iran, summer-of-women
In a way, of course, the title is a lie. Women without men is an impossibility as long as women are defined first and foremost by their relationships to men, which obviously is no less true given the setting of the novel, but hardly unique to it either.

Women Without Men tell the story of a half-dozen women circling this issue while rarely able to confront it head-on - even if they do, even if they kill or die or return from death with the power to read minds or turn into a tree (yes, it's that k
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Tahira
Apr 10, 2012 Tahira rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Women Without Men appears more like a poem than a novel. It is so infused with symbolism that one must either suspend reality, or imagine what Parsipur was trying to convey about the social and political climate at that point in Iran's history. Thankfully, the afterward that accompanied the edition of the novel that I read was most useful when tackling the latter task.

Women Without Men is unlike any other text I have read, and yet it's brevity makes it seem so light and simple, as though the sto
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Jessica
This is a really wild novel, unlike any you'll ever read. Parsipur was banned in her native Iran; last I knew she was living in the States (she's taught at Brown U.). Parsipur deals with the limited choices women have in Iran, the violence they face for being raped, rebellious, for breaking even in small ways with the constrictive norm. The novella cannot of course take these issues head-on and so does so in a wildly imaginative way. Parsipur's women find their own haven--one woman becomes a tre ...more
Amir Muntasser
Jul 25, 2010 Amir Muntasser rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Rikkert Kuijper
It was okay. There was a good joke in there, but the surrealism just never really worked for me. It was kind of just stated as a fact that had to be accounted for, without really drawing you into anything that felt magical or strange. The transformations and all that didn't really seem to carry much significance either, but that could very well be my lack of understanding. It's basically a story where a vast majority of men is horrible, but when it comes down to it, the women don't really get al ...more
Qian
Jun 14, 2009 Qian rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Women Without Men is a short novel made up of stories about five women who come together in a house with a garden in Karaj, outside Tehran. They include a wealthy middle-class wife and a prostitute.

Parsipur's stories involve the challenges women face in trying to live without men in Iran, featuring a debate about whether virginity is a curtain or a hole, rape, and the enforcement of notions of honour by women as well as men, as well as more everyday concerns. The stories are about people, not id
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Erica
Sep 02, 2015 Erica rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: global
I recently saw an exhibit at the Hirshhorn featuring Iranian-American artist Shirin Neshat. I was intrigued by the title of a book, this book, that inspired Neshat's film of the same name. Many of the her other pieces dealt with gender segregation in modern Iranian society, the role of women in political movements, and what an individual does when one's choices are limited. So I checked out the book that inspired the film and understood why the two exiled artists were suited for collaboration. H ...more
Yousef Alikhani
Jun 28, 2007 Yousef Alikhani rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
زنان بدون مردان كاري متفاوت در آثار پارسي پور است. اين داستان را اولين بار دوران دانشجويي خواندم. بيش از ده سال قبل. هنوز لحظه به لحظه اش را به خاطر دارم و عجيب اين كه خواندن اين كتاب جرقه نوشتن داستاني را زد كه هنوز منتشرش نكرده ام:... و قابيل هم بود ...more
Claudia
I must say, I expected a whole different kind of story from the description I read about the book. And a big surprise waited for me: it is so full of magical elements that your head is spinning and you get the message only when you reach the very last pages. I guess all those literature classes from high school, stuffed with allegories, metaphors and symbols, showed their utility now :D (view spoiler) ...more
Vanessa
Jun 16, 2012 Vanessa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Women Without Men breaks my heart. It was difficult to read at times because of the stark violence and discrimination against women. As a Western woman, I am aware of the privileges I have over other women in the world. This was made very clear to me when I read the stories of these five women.

The magical realism in this novel is amazing and works so well with the plot and the characters. I absolutely love the storyline and the way the garden acts as a catalyst for change. The change is really
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okyrhoe
Aug 07, 2009 okyrhoe rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bookcrossing, iran
This is a rather peculiar book.
I'd already seen most of Shirin Eshat's video-art pieces related to the novel, and so I was prepared for the fantastical element of the story.
However I was somewhat disappointed with the text. I found it too simplistic - even if the intention is to resemble a parable. It seemed to me as if the intended audience is the type of women described in the book - an odd thing, to say the least!
In a way, the plight of these female characters is not a unique one; with mini
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Zara
Dec 03, 2014 Zara rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This short, magical novel reads more like poetry than prose. Parsipur writes about the limited (and often horrifying) choices of women in modern Iran, and although I didn't love each part of this book equally, there are some gorgeous, haunting lines that made it well worth the read.
Elaine Klincik
Jul 11, 2014 Elaine Klincik rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Strong female characters in a repressive environment. It was an interesting look at the Iranian culture in recent decades. I always find it shocking to see how little value is given to a woman's life in that culture. Though the story dealt with very heavy themes, the interweaving of humor and magic realism left me feeling hopeful for their futures. The ending left me breathless. I may not have loved the entire book, but I LOVED the ending.
Daniela Ducaru
Jan 21, 2015 Daniela Ducaru rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"...întotdeauna dorințele inimii sunt cele care aduc oamenii în pragul nebuniei."
Grace
Jan 22, 2009 Grace rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very quick read, and extremely allegorical...a bit too much for my taste, really, but very powerful because of it. I think part of my appreciation for the book stems from my respect for the author and the opposition (including inprisonment) that she has had to endure. And the imagery is really beautiful -- which is probably why Shirin Neshat decided to make the four short films for Prospect 1 based on this novella...which is what I saw and led me to this book.

Of course now I want to read Hemi
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Zoe Brooks
Jul 12, 2015 Zoe Brooks rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: magic-realism
This review first appeared on the Magic Realism Books blog - http://magic-realism-books.blogspot.com

What the Goodreads description does not say is just how beautiful this novella is. Women Without Men does tackle the issues facing Iranian women, but it does so in a magical and poetic way. Magic realism is used to make bearable and visible the oppression these women face and to give voice to their dreams.

I am not surprised this book so shocked the Iranian establishment. We see behind the veil in
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Elizabeth
Jun 01, 2009 Elizabeth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My friend gave this to me; I wouldn't have known about it otherwise. It's muted writing, with a slight magical realism to it. I find myself reflecting on it further now that I've read The Bookseller of Kabul. The grave oppression that is evident in the nonfiction book is softened here, but there's also a peculiar affective flatness to the writing. It's as though the beauty and subversiveness of the ideas, given the cultural context from which the book came, had to be framed in an understated man ...more
Nazila Khalkhali
May 19, 2012 Nazila Khalkhali rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
بعضی وقتها آدمها انقدر حرفها زیادی رو دلشون میمونه که موقع حرف زدن فقط میخوان هر چی تو دلشون مونده رو تعریف کنند خوب برای همین هم حرفاشون بیش تر به مجموعه ی کلمات قصاری تبدیل میشه که به هم با سریش هم نمیتونی بچسبونی و ربطی به هم بدی. از نظر من کتاب زنان بدون مردان از این دست کتابها میاد. یادمه که وقتی کتاب در اومد هنوز روی پیش خون کتاب فروشیها نرفته جمعش کردند فکر کردم که چه کتابی باید باشه ولی وقتی خوندم دیدم نه همچین تحفه ای هم نبود.
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Loosed in Transla...: Women Without Men by Parsipur 2 18 Aug 18, 2014 04:20AM  
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