Breaking the Silence, Crossing the Border: An Analysis of Four Life Narratives by Iranian Women in Diaspora

Research Paper
Author:Dunbar, Kathleen, Middle Eastern and South Asian Languages and CulturesUniversity of Virginia ORCID icon

This thesis is an analysis of four life narratives by Iranian diaspora authors: Funny in Farsi by Firoozeh Dumas, Things I’ve Been Silent About by Azar Nafisi, Nylon Road by Parsua Bashi, and Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi. The four memoirs are interconnected through the historical context of the 1979 revolution, and each author belongs to a distinct wave of emigration into the diaspora which gives each of their works a unique textuality. The memoirs are examined within the framework of the culture of silence in which the literary voices of women have historically been subjugated by normative codes of self-effacement and silence. This thesis examines how the four works transgress the limits of the culture of silence. The life narratives of Dumas, Nafisi, Bashi, and Satrapi subvert the traditional notion that suggests the details of women’s private lives are extraneous in the public arena.

literature, Iran, diaspora, memoir, women
Contributor:Hueckstedt, Robert, AS-MidEast & SAsia Lang & CultUniversity of Virginia
University of Virginia
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