Let Me Tell You Where I've Been: New Writing by Women of the Iranian Diaspora by Persis M. Karim
Until recently, Iranian literature has overwhelmingly been the domain of men. But the new hybrid culture of diaspora Iranians has produced a prolific literature by women that reflects a unique perspective and voice. Let Me Tell You Where I've Been is an extensive collection of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction by women whose lives have been shaped and influenced by Iran's recent history, exile, immigration and the formation of new cultural identities in the United States and Europe. These writings represent an emerging and multi-cultural female sensibility. Unlike many flat media portrayals of Iranian women—as veiled, silenced—these writers offer a complex literary view of Iranian culture and its influences. These writers interrogate, challenge, and re-define notions of home and language and their work offers readers an experience of Iranian diaspora culture. Featuring over one hundred selections (two-thirds of which have never been published before) by more than fifty contributors--including such well-known writers as Gelareh Asayesh, Tara Bahrampour, Firoozeh Dumas, Roya Hakakian and Mimi Khalvati--the collection represents a substantial diversity of voices in this multicultural community. Divided into six sections, the book's themes of exile, family, culture resistance, and love, create a rich and textured view of the Iranian diaspora. The poems, short stories, and essays are suggestive of an important conversation about Iran, Iranian culture, the Persian and English languages, and the dual identities of many of its authors. This powerful collection is a tribute to the wisdom, insight, and sensitivity of women attempting to invent and articulate a literature of in-betweenness.