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  • Nine Parts of Desire: The Hidden World of Islamic Women
Nine Parts of Desire: The Hidden World of Islamic Women, by Geraldine Brooks. Anchor Books (Doubleday: New York 1995). $22.95

The author, the Middle East correspondent for the Wall Street Journal for six years, was perplexed when her thoroughly modern Egyptian translator suddenly adopted Islam’s restrictive veil and declined to attend Harvard. Brooks decided to investigate the Muslim world, and she has written a fascinating account that captures both the complexity and the variety of practices among Muslim women in different countries, while also puncturing a number of western stereotypes. At the same time, Brooks demonstrates that repressive policies toward women often are not based on accurate interpretations of religious texts.


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