Iran is constantly the epicenter of news and turmoil. There has been oppression, revolution, and invasion. However, through it all, Iran continues to be a proud country where those fighting for the betterment of their people face harsh backlash, yet continue to be a loud voice.
Along the way, Iran has produced some of the most influential female authors. They have chronicled their lives and life in Iran for women, and shared it with the world. If you are even remotely interested in the feminist movement, check out these five inspiring female authors who have lived in and witnessed first-hand an often oppressing culture.
Shirin Ebadi is an Iranian lawyer and former judge born on June 21, 1947 in Hamadan, Iran. She is also a human rights activist and founder of Defenders of Human Rights Center in Iran.
Ebadi is an extremely influential woman. She was listed by “Forbes” magazine as one of the “100 most powerful women in the world” and “100 most influential women of all time” in 2004. She has been openly critical of current regime, forcing her to live in exile the United Kingdom since 2009.
Her most notable accolade is her Nobel Peace Prize which was awarded to her on October 10, 2003. She was awarded the prize for her efforts in democracy and human rights. Her human rights efforts were especially focused on women’s, children’s, and refugee’s rights. She is the first Iranian to receive the Nobel Peace Prize.
Ebadi is also an accomplished author. Her clout as an individual gives weight to her publications and are a strong read for anyone interested in Iranian politics and culture towards women. Her publications include, “Iran Awakening: One Woman’s Journey to Reclaim Her Life and Country”, “Refugee Rights in Iran”, and “The Golden Cage: Three Brothers, Three Choices, One Destiny”.
Marjane Satrapi is a graphic novelist, illustrator, film director, and children’s book author born on November 22, 1969 in Rasht, Iran. She grew up in Tehran, Iran. Her parents were educated members of Iranian society and politically active.
As a youth, Satrapi was witness to the brutalities of the varying regimes. She saw family members persecuted, arrested, and murdered. This exposure led her to be a defiant teen who did not approve of the public codes for Iranian women. Her parents fearful for her, had her study abroad in Vienna, Austria.
Satrapi authored the popular “Persepolis” series, an autobiographical novel. The two books chronicled her life growing up in Iran and Europe. These novels were eventually turned into a film which was entered into the Cannes Film Festival in 2007. She further authored books such as “Embroideries”, “Chicken with Plums”, “Monsters Are Afraid of the Moon”, and “The Sigh”.
Nina Ansary is an author born in Tehran, Iran. She left Iran during the 1979 Islamic Revolution and hasn’t returned. She grew up in New York and earned a handful of degrees there. In 1996 she moved to Los Angeles and pursued her passion for humanitarian causes.
Ansary’s upcoming book, “The Jewels of Allah” set to publish in July 2015, is based on her doctoral thesis of the women’s movement in post-revolutionary Iran. She hopes that her book will break assumption and misunderstanding of stories of women in Iran today.
She is a regular contributor to the website “Women’s eNews” and has a growing social media presence which is proven by being voted as one of the “Top Influencers on Iran” on Twitter.
Azar Nafisi, an Iranian writer and professor was born December 1, 1955 in Tehran, Iran. She has been living in the United States since 1997 where she became a citizen in 2008.
Nafisi authored a plethora of books such as “The Eye of the Storm: Women in Post-Revolutionary Iran”, and “Tales of Subversion: Women Challenging Funamentalism in the Islamic Republic of Iran”. However, her best known book which remained on the New York TImes Bestseller list for over 100 weeks, winning several literary awards was “Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books”.
Simin Daneshvar was an Irania academic, noveslit, fiction writer, and translator born April 28, 1921 in Tehran, Iran. She is commonly regarded as the first major woman Iranian novelist. She is also the first Iranian woman to have a series of short stories published as well as the first Iranian woman to have a novel become a bestseller.
Daneshvar primarily wrote about her life and lives of Iranian women. Her published books include the trilogy “Wandering” and short stories such as “The Quenched Fire”, “A City Like Paradise, and “To Whom Shall I Say Hello?”. However, the bestseller was a novel titled “Savushun” published in 1969. This novel is about setteled and tribal life in Shiraz and has undergone sixteen reprints.
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