Anita Amirrezvani was born in Tehran, Iran, and raised in San Francisco. For ten years, she was a dance critic for newspapers in the Bay Area. She has received fellowships from the National Arts Journalism Program, the NEA's Arts Journalism Institute for Dance, and the Hedgebrook Foundation for Women Writers.
This biography was last updated on 07/20/2011.
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We learn a lot about the private lives of the women portrayed in the book. Do you think Americans will be surprised to see these strong-willed women living underneath their chadors?
Iran and Iranians have become increasingly mysterious to Westerners ever since the United States severed relations with the country nearly thirty years ago. When I tell people about an ordinary activity like smoking apple-flavored tobacco in a cafe in Isfahan, I get a flurry of bewildered questions about everything from food to the status of women. In my novel, I posit that seventeenth-century women would have been quite strong in their own spheres, meaning the home, in social centers like the bathhouse, in raising children, in supervising house-related staff and purchases, and in craft-related work performed at home. I think these are quite reasonable assumptions. When it comes to Iranian women today, it would be a gross misconception to think of them as shrinking violets. Iranian women represent 60 percent of the students enrolled in universities, and in recent years, have been quite organized in fighting for their rights. One of these women, of course, is Shirin Ebadi, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2003 for her human rights work and the ...
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