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The twelfth imam's a woman? (2009)

In this novel, Fariba Hachtroudi returns to Iran, after 30 years of exile to take the country’s pulse. She paints a picture which is surrealist, magical and darkly funny – but also appalling. Black humour makes her pen a redoubtable weapon. Her heroine and narrator, Anahita, is a journalist living in Teheran, thirty years old, the same age as the Iranian revolution. She is sent to report on the pilgrimage to Jamkaran: a center of beliefs and superstitions from another age. The focus of her enquiry is the mosque’s well – supposed to be the hiding place of the Twelfth Imam whose return the Shiites eagerly await. And to her surprise, the young woman discovers that in a country where women are stoned, where machoism holds sway, the famous Imam is... an Imamess and a feminist. The colourful, blackly funny narrative blends wit with anger, satire with rage, while the vivid depiction of young Iranians’ lives is also a call for political action. The novel also provides a key to understanding the current situation in Iran, a country in the grip of a millenarian culture where Shia Islam has been a force of resistance against foreign invasion as well as powerful weapon in the hands of some of the region’s most repressive despots.


Publisher : The Key Publishing House Inc.
ISBN : 978-1-926780-05-4