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Women Without Men: A Novella
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Women Without Men: A Novella

3.6 of 5 stars 3.60  ·  rating details  ·  885 ratings  ·  99 reviews
Five women set out to escape the oppressive restrictions of family and social life in contemporary Iran. A prostitute, a wealthy, middle-aged housewife, two seemingly desperate "old maids, " and a woman whose career ended after her boss asked her out share a common quest for independence that may be fulfilled in a garden villa. Through murder, suicide, even rape, as well a...more
Hardcover, 131 pages
Published December 1st 1998 by Syracuse University Press (first published 1978)
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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...more
Leila Dehghan
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...
Saman
لینک دانلود این کتاب را در گروه "دانلود کتاب‌های نایاب" گذاشته‌ام و دوستان می‌توانند به راحتی دانلودش کنند
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...more
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
Tahira
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...more
Amir Muntasser
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Qian
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...more
Yousef Alikhani
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
Vanessa
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...more
okyrhoe
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...more
Elaine Klincik
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.
Grace
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...more
Elizabeth
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
Adam
I want to read the Persian eventually, but as it has elements of magic realism, reading the Persian first would have probably just been a recipe for frustration. This is a great, short book. I like when a translated text is colored by the original language, but there is sometimes a point at which it feels too much like you are reading a translation, and it becomes sort of clunky. I only felt that for the first few pages with this one, and then it passed. There is something very folkloric (?) abo...more
Shokufeh شکوفه  Kavani کاوانی
شاهکار ادبیات مدرن فارسی..........در باره ء این کتاب حرف ناگفته ائ برائ گفتن نمانده است.....برائ من تنها افتخار آشنایی با شهرنوش پارسی پور بسنده است.
Ron
After the author's monumental novel "Touba," this novella is both as serious and light-hearted as Pedro Almodovar's "Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown." Parsipur's unabashed subject matter is the mindless subjugation of women among tradition-bound Iranians, where fear of losing her chastity keeps a girl in the story from climbing trees and a jealous brother may take a knife to a sister whom he believes has dishonored the family.

As chance would have it in the world of this novel, a murder...more
leslie nikole
I sat down and read this straight in one day without paying attention to anything else around me. From my morning ride downtown bound to lunch time in my usual spot, my nose was dead stuck in this book.

I watched the film first for a little preview, but I think because it wasn't in English and there was solely subtitles, the movie was probably not as deep as it was to me on a writer's context, if that makes any sense. I honestly feel like the translation wasn't as amazing as it could be. The movi...more
Jafar
I heard about this book when it was published and heard what happened to its author, but couldn’t get a hold of a copy to read it. Found a free PDF version of it on the Web. (Sorry Ms. Parsipour for not buying your book.) The story didn’t really appeal to me, but I can see why it made such a big noise and why the Islamic Republic came down on her so hard. The book came out during the most repressive period of the Islamic Republic. It not only brings up the plight of women in the traditional soci...more
Tina
I saw the movie artist/film maker Shirin Neshat created based on this book in Jan. 2011. The visuals were amazing and but it was difficult to grasp the hidden meanings of all the layers in the story. I bought the book and found it to actually be a short read once I stayed with it. At the end of the book, there was a lot of explanation to the characters and metaphors. It made so much sense to me! If you want to know more about where and how women stand in the Iranian society this is an awesome bo...more
Eman Ghanem
The use of magical realism in this novel makes it difficult to read, nevertheless, the social issues associated with women in this novel are very crucial and well-deliberate .
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0CGxQl...
Rahel
Insightful and confusing are two words that best sum up this book. Not knowing much about Iran's political history, this book provided a base for that area and gave me a deep understanding of how limited women are in terms of free speech. It shed light on the fact that through perseverance and determination, one can overcome the government and succeed in what they desire to accomplish. As a result, I found Parsipur's writing style highly effective and enjoyed the book a lot. I would definitely r...more
Elizabeth
This novella brings together a cast of women from different walks of life to showcase a sense of womanhood in Iran. Shahrnush Parsipur interlaces fantastical elements in her story, and later claims them as part of her own heritage, rather than a borrowing from popular Latin American writers of today. I read the Feminist Press's paperback edition which included an interesting afterword and translator's note, which I enjoyed due to my own lack of perspective on Iranian literature. Interestingly, P...more
Sarvenaz Taridashti
با فیلمش خیلی تفاوت داشت...نمیدونم چطور از روش ساخته شده!؟!؟! ولی هم فیلمش خوب بود و هم کتابش....البته فیلمو بیشتر دوس دارم!
Wild Women Reviews
This book has a lot of magical realism in it. The book describes the lives of different women and how they intertwine in modern Iran, as well as the trials and tribulations that they face as women in the Islamic Republic. What I really liked about the book was that we get a glimpse of how women are treated by society, as well as their family, but we also get to see how devastating it can be when women begin to replicate the abuse and take it out on other women. It's a great example of the "oppre...more
Leila Soltani
رئالیسم جادویی ترکیب شده با عرفان شرقی

از کتاب های دیگه پارسی پور بیشتر دوسش داشتم
کلی گویی نداشت
تو ادبیات ایران اصلا از این سبک نخوندم و نمی تونم مقایسه کنم طبعا
Jim
A delightful allegorical novella disguised as a series of short stories that opens a window into life for Iranian women in a patriarchal and stifling society. The stories take place roughly in the period of the coup against Mossedeh (though the story is not political). Parsipur uses elements of what I would call magical realism to address women’s sexuality; desires for freedom and control; yearnings for love, adventure, travel. I can see why the patriarchal, fanatical government would ban her wo...more
Adrielle
It was much different than I expected but was enjoyable.
Ramtin
!من که نتونستم باهاش ارتباط برقرار کنم
Katerina
I found it a bit surrealistic, but that doesn't mean I found it bad. It gives a sense of the situation in Iran and where a woman stands.
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Loosed in Transla...: Women Without Men by Parsipur 2 9 Aug 18, 2014 04:20AM  
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