We cannot verify your location
Browse Book and Journal Content on Project MUSE
OR

Let Me Tell You Where I’ve Been

New Writing by Women of the Iranian Diaspora

Persis M. Karim

Publication Year: 2006

Let Me Tell You Where I've Been is an extensive collection of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction by women whose lives have been shaped and influenced by Iran's recent history, exile, immigration and the formation of new cultural identities in the United States and Europe.

Published by: University of Arkansas Press

Title Page, Copyright

pdf iconDownload PDF (40.5 KB)
 

Acknowledgments, Quote, Dedication

pdf iconDownload PDF (37.4 KB)
pp. v-viii

Contents

pdf iconDownload PDF (43.8 KB)
pp. ix-xii

read more

Foreword

pdf iconDownload PDF (43.3 KB)
pp. xiii-xvi

Like the children and grandchildren of Holocaust survivors, women of the Iranian diaspora—mothers, daughters, sisters,wives, girlfriends, aunts, cousins—have inherited the heartbreak and hurt of the émigré, the immigrant, the exiled, the disconnected, the misunderstood and unwelcome; in a word: the uprooted. ...

read more

Gratitudes

pdf iconDownload PDF (31.6 KB)
pp. xvii-xviii

This collection reflects the vision and vibrancy of so many people. I would first like to thank all the writers who entrusted me with their poetry and prose and allowed me to gather their individual work in this symphony of women’s voices. ...

read more

Introduction

pdf iconDownload PDF (63.3 KB)
pp. xix-xxx

Long before the taking of hostages at the American Embassy in Tehran in 1979, the United States and Iran had a complicated relationship. Until Uncle Sam’s ill-fated friendship with the Shah, most Americans hadn’t even heard of Iran. ...

Home Stories

Autumn Letter

pdf iconDownload PDF (33.0 KB)
pp. 3-4

Home Stories

pdf iconDownload PDF (32.9 KB)
pp. 5-6

Dokhtar-e Amrika-i*

pdf iconDownload PDF (39.9 KB)
pp. 7-8

Dokhtar-e Irani*

pdf iconDownload PDF (40.3 KB)
pp. 9-10

Separation

pdf iconDownload PDF (32.6 KB)
pp. 11-12

read more

The Sun Is a Dying Star

pdf iconDownload PDF (56.3 KB)
pp. 13-22

I dress with the same care some would use to polish a weapon. Not that it matters, I lost this battle at birth. But I shade the hollows with mystery, and coax pain into disdain. A flashing ghost of a doubt, a microscopic prick to their convictions—that’s all I ask. ...

En Route to Persepolis

pdf iconDownload PDF (32.9 KB)
pp. 23-24

Timing

pdf iconDownload PDF (24.2 KB)
pp. 25-26

Against the Kitchen White Wall

pdf iconDownload PDF (33.0 KB)
pp. 27-28

Road Trip

pdf iconDownload PDF (33.5 KB)
pp. 29-30

read more

The Break (from Saffron Sky)

pdf iconDownload PDF (56.1 KB)
pp. 31-37

I was fifteen years old. I was going to Amrika, which meant that I no longer needed to envy my classmate Marjan, who ordered her summer clothes from the Spiegel catalogue, my cousin Reza, who was attending boarding school in England, or my friend Azadeh, who would be going to school in Switzerland in the fall. ...

Home

pdf iconDownload PDF (26.8 KB)
pp. 38-39

Persian Princess Insania

pdf iconDownload PDF (33.4 KB)
pp. 40-41

Naderi

pdf iconDownload PDF (23.6 KB)
pp. 42-

Where Does My Language Lie?

pdf iconDownload PDF (31.4 KB)
pp. 43-

read more

Inheritance

pdf iconDownload PDF (53.7 KB)
pp. 44-51

They are antique coins, strapped on, zigzag dancing in the street, fallen change from a pocket. They are bronze, slip-in-strap-around high heels I aim to balance in as I step quickly, hum the national anthem, mouth open, the smell of gin hot and sweet on my tongue. ...

Revolution 1979

pdf iconDownload PDF (25.8 KB)
pp. 52-

Portland, Oregon 1979

pdf iconDownload PDF (28.7 KB)
pp. 53-55

read more

With a Little Help from My Friends (from Funny in Farsi)

pdf iconDownload PDF (48.5 KB)
pp. 56-60

I was lucky to have come to America years before the upheaval in Iran. The Americans we encountered were kind and curious, unafraid to ask questions and willing to listen. As soon as I spoke enough English to communicate, I found myself being interviewed nonstop by children and adults alike. ...

read more

Another Quiet New Year

pdf iconDownload PDF (39.9 KB)
pp. 61-63

The streets, though,were bustling. After dinner I decided to save money and walk home—the weather was nice and the young hipsters paraded around in the latest styles. A cab drove up and offered to take me the whole way for a very good price. I made the ceremonial “that’s too expensive!” ...

read more

My Brother at the Canadian Border

pdf iconDownload PDF (33.4 KB)
pp. 64-

On their way to Canada in a red Mazda, my brother and his friend, Ph.D.’s and little sense, stopped at the border and the guard leaned forward, asked: Where you boys heading? My brother, Welcome to Canada poster in his eyes, replied: Mexico. The guard blinked, stepped back then forward, said: Sir, this is the Canadian border.

read more

1979

pdf iconDownload PDF (47.7 KB)
pp. 65-70

Nineteen seventy-nine was the year that was the beginning of the end and the beginning of a new beginning. The Democrats were about to lose their hold on the White House and Reaganomics would soon become an unavoidable reality. Nightline was born that year. ...

read more

Captions

pdf iconDownload PDF (44.7 KB)
pp. 71-76

I know it was the rain, a conversation with a friend, a downward glance, and—with this alignment—the possibility that I would have, at long last, something of myself to pour. These were my beginnings for this, a less reproachful way of examining my chronology of escape, paralysis, and pleasure. ...

read more

Arrivals and Departures

pdf iconDownload PDF (57.3 KB)
pp. 77-85

My flight landed at Mehrabad Airport on a cold January night in 2001. This was the first time I had been back to Iran since 1977 and I was nervous. I fiddled with my headscarf, worried that it would be seen as inadequate by the person who had the authority to stamp my passport allowing me entry into the country. ...

read more

Exerpt from To See and See Again: A Life in Iran and America

pdf iconDownload PDF (50.2 KB)
pp. 86-92

That night in bed I watch the clouds race like horses over the moon. I think of Baba as a boy, galloping up into those hills to hunt, secure in the life his father has built for him. Agha Jan’s house sheltered his siblings, his wives and their relatives, and his children and servants. ...

For Tradition

For Tradition

pdf iconDownload PDF (23.7 KB)
pp. 95-

Sister

pdf iconDownload PDF (32.9 KB)
pp. 96-97

Twin

pdf iconDownload PDF (24.5 KB)
pp. 98-99

The Persian Bath

pdf iconDownload PDF (32.0 KB)
pp. 100-

A Love Song

pdf iconDownload PDF (23.3 KB)
pp. 101-

Pomegranates

pdf iconDownload PDF (34.5 KB)
pp. 102-104

Passover

pdf iconDownload PDF (23.9 KB)
pp. 105-

ajun

pdf iconDownload PDF (39.3 KB)
pp. 106-111

read more

Next Year in Cyprus

pdf iconDownload PDF (46.4 KB)
pp. 112-116

My mother was never the typical Southern beauty. Dry and winsome as a Texas sunset, she wore her long blond hair down and loose throughout the pincurled fifties, read Dostoevsky and Unamuno, listened to Lightnin’ Hopkins and jazz, and dreamed of becoming a lawyer. ...

read more

Recovery

pdf iconDownload PDF (61.5 KB)
pp. 117-128

The days leading up to Aunt Ezzat’s wedding were filled with activity. Carpets were turned upside-down to prevent them from being stained by the throng of guests expected on the second story of our house where the wedding was to be held, extra chairs and china sets stacked throughout the living room and the parlor. ...

Baba’s Passing—February 2005

pdf iconDownload PDF (35.1 KB)
pp. 129-130

Joys of a Simple Meal

pdf iconDownload PDF (23.3 KB)
pp. 131-

read more

Raw Walnuts

pdf iconDownload PDF (36.9 KB)
pp. 132-134

Crack the hard shell of walnuts, throw the shell away and place the walnuts in a jar of water. Change the water every few hours, and repeat this for several days. Eventually, the thin brown skin gets soft and can be peeled off easily. ...

The Camel and the Cantaloupe

pdf iconDownload PDF (33.1 KB)
pp. 135-136

Ode to the Eggplant

pdf iconDownload PDF (24.4 KB)
pp. 137-138

Torches

pdf iconDownload PDF (24.4 KB)
pp. 139-140

Woman’s Duty

Avenue Vali Asr

pdf iconDownload PDF (31.5 KB)
pp. 143-144

Woman’s Duty

pdf iconDownload PDF (22.2 KB)
pp. 145-

The Next Day Is Always So Still

pdf iconDownload PDF (23.1 KB)
pp. 146-147

Waiting for Ulysses

pdf iconDownload PDF (30.3 KB)
pp. 148-

The woman has veto power

pdf iconDownload PDF (23.4 KB)
pp. 149-150

read more

On the Rooftop

pdf iconDownload PDF (53.9 KB)
pp. 151-160

Under her black veil, in the darkest fold, where the sharp odor of rosewater mixes with the scent of earth and dust of many holy shrines, in a hidden corner, under her long, thick chador, death sits silently, brooding. ...

If You Change Your Nose

pdf iconDownload PDF (33.5 KB)
pp. 161-162

read more

Iranian Women

pdf iconDownload PDF (40.0 KB)
pp. 163-165

Hot afternoon, in a city far from home, one hour by train if no delays, she walks back from work to the station. Tired, dragging a computer on her shoulder—hating the computer at this moment, yet appreciating its value at the back of her mind, giving her a job even in this bad economy ...

read more

Love in a Time of Struggle (from Lipstick Jihad)

pdf iconDownload PDF (71.3 KB)
pp. 166-179

To be a young woman in the Iran of the Islamic Republic involved a certain degree of uncertainty over one’s identity, or at the very least, over one’s romantic priorities. Most of my girlfriends had no idea whether they had a “type.” ...

read more

Becoming a Woman

pdf iconDownload PDF (35.6 KB)
pp. 180-181

I grew up and became a woman in Jamalzadeh koucheh (alley) in Tehran. My parents, who were both educators, joined the Iranian middle class when they first bought an apartment there. Our neighbors were Zoroastrians,Christians, Muslims, and Jews. ...

The World Was a Couple

pdf iconDownload PDF (31.6 KB)
pp. 182-

read more

The Gift

pdf iconDownload PDF (59.2 KB)
pp. 183-193

The morning of her Saturday math camp group, my mother, Darya, calls to say she has found the perfect gift for my twenty-fifth birthday. “His name is Mr. Dashti,” she says, almost breathless on the phone.“Two degrees, a Ph.D. and an M.B.A. He is a descendant of the third cousin of Reza Shah. ...

The Execution of Atefeh

pdf iconDownload PDF (35.9 KB)
pp. 194-195

Bad

pdf iconDownload PDF (22.3 KB)
pp. 196-

Summoning

pdf iconDownload PDF (32.6 KB)
pp. 197-

Masouleh

pdf iconDownload PDF (22.1 KB)
pp. 198-

Words to Die For

pdf iconDownload PDF (23.1 KB)
pp. 199-200

Fariba’s Daughters

pdf iconDownload PDF (32.3 KB)
pp. 201-202

Axis of Evil

Lower Manhattan

pdf iconDownload PDF (33.5 KB)
pp. 205-206

Another Day and Counting

pdf iconDownload PDF (23.2 KB)
pp. 207-208

Axis of Evil

pdf iconDownload PDF (33.9 KB)
pp. 209-210

How Lucky Persimmons Are

pdf iconDownload PDF (23.2 KB)
pp. 211-212

Mamaan-bozorg

pdf iconDownload PDF (36.6 KB)
pp. 213-

In the Gutter

pdf iconDownload PDF (31.4 KB)
pp. 214-215

read more

The Witness

pdf iconDownload PDF (40.9 KB)
pp. 216-219

“Yes, that’s what I was told,” the passenger answers, thinking about how annoyed his wife will be that he’s so late from work. Maybe he should just go home. If he doesn’t stop by the mosque, it will look rude. After all, it’s his co-worker’s son. ...

American Again

pdf iconDownload PDF (22.3 KB)
pp. 220-

Butcher Shop

pdf iconDownload PDF (22.2 KB)
pp. 221-

Iranians v. Persians

pdf iconDownload PDF (33.4 KB)
pp. 222-223

Invitation to the Hungry Ghosts

pdf iconDownload PDF (22.6 KB)
pp. 224-

read more

When Toys Are Us

pdf iconDownload PDF (41.2 KB)
pp. 225-228

Neatly shrink-wrapped, they stood straight and tall next to the Navy battleships and the Bradley fighting vehicles. They were toys, with names that echoed the war in Afghanistan and Iraq—names like “G.I. Joe Adventure Team” and “Ultimate Soldier, U.S. Desert Special Operations.” ...

As Good as Any Other Day

pdf iconDownload PDF (21.9 KB)
pp. 229-

Dawn on the Fall Equinox

pdf iconDownload PDF (31.4 KB)
pp. 230-231

Instilling Shock and Awe

pdf iconDownload PDF (33.0 KB)
pp. 232-

Summer Day

pdf iconDownload PDF (22.6 KB)
pp. 233-234

Beyond

Sestinelle for Travelers

pdf iconDownload PDF (32.2 KB)
pp. 237-238

The Best Reason to Write a Poem Is Still for Love

pdf iconDownload PDF (34.5 KB)
pp. 239-240

Perfectly Parallel Mirrors

pdf iconDownload PDF (31.0 KB)
pp. 241-242

Money Buys

pdf iconDownload PDF (21.9 KB)
pp. 243-

Once

pdf iconDownload PDF (25.0 KB)
pp. 244-245

read more

Exerpts from Stones in the Garden

pdf iconDownload PDF (51.8 KB)
pp. 246-252

Khaleh Farah turned from the bed and drew the black curtain across the partition that separated the two rooms of the apartment. The room had been a storage area, but after they moved in, Khaleh Farah had immediately sewn together the black curtain, making the space the girls’ bedroom.“ ...

Stripes

pdf iconDownload PDF (34.5 KB)
pp. 253-255

read more

Magical Chair of Nails: Becoming a Writer in a Second Language

pdf iconDownload PDF (28.0 KB)
pp. 256-258

Less than a year ago, I made one of the most important decisions of my life: I quit a prestigious job in the world’s hub—the coveted New York City—for the quiet of the country. I chose a writer’s life. Happily I emptied my desk, neatly leaving sharpened pencils and boxes of paper clips for that unknown successor, ...

Us Four

pdf iconDownload PDF (30.0 KB)
pp. 259-

The Eglantine Deal

pdf iconDownload PDF (26.8 KB)
pp. 260-262

read more

The Sandcastle

pdf iconDownload PDF (39.1 KB)
pp. 263-266

Waves wash away Hamid’s footprints in the sand. He wanders toward the dregs of a wooden boat, and I follow him. It’s early in the morning, and except for our presence, the beach is devoid of human life. ...

Ghazal

pdf iconDownload PDF (22.5 KB)
pp. 267-

Mandala at Manzanar

pdf iconDownload PDF (30.6 KB)
pp. 268-

Beyond

pdf iconDownload PDF (21.9 KB)
pp. 269-

Only the Blue Remains Unchanged

pdf iconDownload PDF (22.2 KB)
pp. 270-

Tales Left Untold

Night Conversations (Deep Are These Distances)

pdf iconDownload PDF (30.7 KB)
pp. 273-274

Do You Miss Me?

pdf iconDownload PDF (22.9 KB)
pp. 275-276

Lost Karbala

pdf iconDownload PDF (30.0 KB)
pp. 277-

Sing

pdf iconDownload PDF (31.9 KB)
pp. 278-

Earth and Water

pdf iconDownload PDF (23.0 KB)
pp. 279-280

Tales Left Untold

pdf iconDownload PDF (48.1 KB)
pp. 281-294

Because of Hands and Bread

pdf iconDownload PDF (22.2 KB)
pp. 295-

read more

Soleiman’s Silence

pdf iconDownload PDF (33.4 KB)
pp. 296-300

Why did all Iranians in Toronto know Soleiman? No one knew. Soleiman wasn’t wealthy, he wasn’t a poet, a writer, a musician, a singer, he didn’t boast university or scientific titles. Soleiman was an ordinary person who chose to be quiet. But Soleiman’s silence spoke volumes and people read words into his silence. ...

Standing in a Mosque Contemplating Faith

pdf iconDownload PDF (23.1 KB)
pp. 301-302

Sabze

pdf iconDownload PDF (31.3 KB)
pp. 303-

Years Later

pdf iconDownload PDF (22.7 KB)
pp. 304-305

Native

pdf iconDownload PDF (23.3 KB)
pp. 306-307

Unpacking

pdf iconDownload PDF (21.8 KB)
pp. 308-

Blessing

pdf iconDownload PDF (30.3 KB)
pp. 309-310

Green World through Broken Glass

pdf iconDownload PDF (22.1 KB)
pp. 311-

A Return

pdf iconDownload PDF (30.0 KB)
pp. 312-

read more

Blood

pdf iconDownload PDF (76.5 KB)
pp. 313-331

My sister and her husband had left Iran for Eshgh Abaad as a newly married couple, he filled with the hopes and promise of becoming a successful merchant, and she filled with the satisfaction of having a husband capable of such a task. Now, after two years, they were coming back, ...

13 Days

pdf iconDownload PDF (24.1 KB)
pp. 332-

Ari

pdf iconDownload PDF (23.7 KB)
pp. 333-334

Let Me Tell You Where I’ve Been

pdf iconDownload PDF (23.0 KB)
pp. 335-336

Cardamom and Hell

pdf iconDownload PDF (21.8 KB)
pp. 337-

read more

Nazr

pdf iconDownload PDF (23.8 KB)
pp. 338-

Azin Arefi was born in Iran and moved to the United States when she was eleven years old. She studied English literature at the University of California, Berkeley, and received her master’s in creative writing with an emphasis in fiction at UC Davis. ...

Contributors

pdf iconDownload PDF (66.5 KB)
pp. 339-349

About the Authors, Back Cover

pdf iconDownload PDF (175.4 KB)
 


E-ISBN-13: 9781610752336
E-ISBN-10: 1610752333
Print-ISBN-13: 9781557288202
Print-ISBN-10: 1557288208

Page Count: 428
Publication Year: 2006

Research Areas

Recommend

UPCC logo

Subject Headings

  • American literature -- Iranian American authors.
  • Iranian Americans -- Literary collections.
  • American literature -- Women authors.
  • American literature -- 21st century.
  • American literature -- 20th century.
  • You have access to this content
  • Free sample
  • Open Access
  • Restricted Access