Women Under the Influence
In a spate of recent novels, Iranian-American women peer beneath the veil to examine Islamic culture's impact and intimate legacy.
by Gina Nahai
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From the outset, Yaas, the young Jewish Iranian narrator of Gina Nahai's novel Caspian Rain, is an unwelcome child. The first strike against her is that she is born a girl, and as everyone in her family knows, "there's nothing but trouble and shame where girls are involved." Her mother, Bahar, welcomes Yaas into the world with tears of despair, having hoped that the child would be a boy. Instead, she struggles to make do with a daughter. Bahar tries not to have too many expectations for Yaas but can't help herself. She wants her to succeed where she herself has failed: at being female.
It will come as no surprise to anyone the least bit familiar with Iran that women there have it tough. Journalistic reports detail the stifling conditions under which they live, and ever since the phenomenal success in 2003 of Azar
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