Love and Sexuality
AFTER: TRAVAIL OF SEXUALITY AND LOVE IN MODERN IRAN
|Afsaneh Najmabadi a1|
a1 Is a Professor of History and of Studies of Women, Gender, and Sexuality, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass. 02138, USA; e-mail: [email protected].
For the past seven years, Iran has been in the grip of a literary event. A novel, Bamdad-i
khumar (The Morning After), written by a hitherto unknown woman, Fattanah Hajj Sayyidjavadi, (b. 1945), became an overnight best-seller and has so remained. 1 From the start, the book has generated heated debates over its literary and socio-cultural merits. Most critics and readers have very strong opinions about the novel. One reader, another first-time writer, was so deeply angered by what she considered to be the novel's exaggerated female-centeredness and its unfairness to men that she decided to rewrite the novel through the voice of its male anti-hero. 2