Twelfth Imam's a Woman?



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In this novel, Fariba Hachtroudi returns to Iran, after thirty years of exile, to take the country's pulse. She paints a picture that is surreal, magical, and darkly funny—but also appalling. Black humor makes her pen a redoubtable weapon. Her heroine and narrator, Anahita, is a journalist living in Teheran; she is 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, and in particular, the mosque's well-the supposed hiding place of the Twelfth Imam, whose return is eagerly awaited by the Shiites. To her surprise, the young woman discovers that in a country where women are stoned, the famous Imam is an Imamess and a feminist. The novel provides a key to understanding the current situation in Iran.
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