In a direct, frank, and intimate exploration of Iranian literature and society, scholar, teacher, and poet Fatemeh Keshavarz challenges popular perceptions of Iran as a society bereft of vitality and joy. Her fresh perspective on present day Iran provides a rare insight into this rich culture alive with artistic expression but virtually unkwn to most Americans. She warns against the rise of what she calls the 'New Orientalist narrative', which thrives on stereotype and prejudice and is often tied to current geopolitical conflict rather than an understanding of Iran.Keshavarz offers a lively critique of the best-seller Reading Lolita in Tehran , which she says epitomizes this New Orientalist attitude. Blending in firsthand glimpses of her own life, Keshavarz paints a portrait of Iran depicting both cultural depth and intellectual complexity.
FATEMEH KESHAVARZ is professor of Persian and comparative literature and chair of the Department of Asian and Near Eastern Languages and Literatures at Washington University in St. Louis. She is author of four previous books, including Reading Mystical Lyric: The Case of Jalal Al-Din Rumi and a volume of poetry.