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Touba and the Meaning of Night

Shahrunush Parsipur

Publication Year: 2009

Iranian dissident and exile Shahrnush Parsipur uses magical realism and Persian myths to distill the first eight decades of the 20th century in Iran, including British and Russian imperialism, the reigns of two shahs – which a U.S.-backed coup ended – and the advent of the Islamic Revolution. Touba, the main character, marries at 14 to provide for her family, delves into sufism, marries and divorces a prince, participates in an honor killing and is haunted by the social and political traumas of the modern era.

Published by: The Feminist Press

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. 1-4


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pp. 5-6

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Translating Women’s Experience: A Note on Rendering the Novel

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pp. vii-xiii

Touba and the Meaning of Night1 is the second of Shahrnush Parsipur’s novels to be translated into English. The first, her brilliant short novel Women Without Men,2 was published in English in 1998, ...

List of Characters

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pp. xv-xvi

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pp. 1-87

The sky was crazy. Rain had been falling for three days, bringing an end to the seven years of drought that had caused the pool in the middle of the front yard to be covered with dried scum. Touba took the opportunity to scrub away the old scum with ...

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pp. 89-170

Suddenly, the noise of children playing ceased. Touba’s maternal instincts prompted her to leave the loom to investigate the cause. Her older daughter, Manzar O-Saltaneh, who was about eight or nine years old, had been weaving next to her mother. She followed behind, hoping for relief ...

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pp. 171-239

Madam Amineh sat on the edge of the pool and opened her veil. Touba had just stopped washing clothes, and had gone inside to fetch some mint ice drinks. Madam Amineh had arrived to tell them to stop ...

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pp. 241-338

The windows were kept open in the summer. Through them, one could see rectangular flower beds, the octagonal blue cement pool, the not-very-professionally plastered, carved columns of the terrace, the door, and ...

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pp. 339-360

Touba and Meaning of Night is the story of a country, a house, a legendary tree, and a woman, that all live, grow, and suffer together for over a hundred years. The country is Iran, and the woman is named Touba, after the tree ...

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Biography of Shahrnush Parsipur

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pp. 361-367

The daughter of an attorney in the Justice Ministry, Shahrnush Parispur was born in Tehran, Iran, in 1946. At an early age, Parsipur showed an interest in literature, and her liberal-minded parents encouraged her ...

Publisher Information

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p. 368-368

E-ISBN-13: 9781558616318
Print-ISBN-13: 9781558615199

Page Count: 384
Publication Year: 2009