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A Feast in the Mirror: Stories by Contemporary Iranian Women

Mohammad Mehdi Khorrami and Shouleh Vatanabadi, editors
A Feast in the Mirror: Stories by Contemporary Iranian Women
ISBN: 978-0-89410-864-8
ISBN: 978-0-89410-889-1
2000/235 pages/LC: 00-032855

"A Feast in the Mirror is indeed a feast of images and voices. It transports the reader, even an Iranian one, to worlds unknown, yet not altogether unfamiliar to women regardless of their nationality, religion or race."—Bahar Davary, The Muslim World Journal

"The stories in this collection accentuate the sense of alienation that arises from the split between a woman's body and her self in a political climate that demands rigorous control over both."—Nima Naghibi, World Literature Today

"Gives insight into the everyday reality of women in Iran as told in their own words, words that would otherwise remain unheard in the outside world.... the inextinguishable spirit of women in search of their proper lace in society shines through."—Jaswinder Gundara, MultiCultural Review

"Recommended for all collections."—Choice

"Readers will long remember these shared perspectives into life and love—new yet so familiar."—Today's Librarian

"[Offers] a remarkable variety of writing, some from women who are being translated for the first time.... The book should be of great interest to any student of Persian literature and would be a useful addition to courses on World Literature, Middle Eastern History, or Women's Studies."—The Society for Iranian Studies

"A compelling collection offering not only polished prose and complex characterizations, but also enlightening explorations of Iranian culture, politics and social change."—Publishers Weekly


In the present golden era of Iranian fiction, women writers—contrary to what many in the West perceive—are making a powerful contribution to the literary scene. Reflecting this, A Feast in the Mirror captures the diverse voices of contemporary Iranian women, offering glimpses into their lives and into the labyrinths of Iranian society today.

Moving from the framework of their own ideas, opinions, and experiences, the authors of the stories collected here explore new literary styles and structures. Khorrami and Vatanabadi provide a contextual introduction to the collection, a short introduction to each story, and biographical notes on the writers.


Mohammad Mehdi Khorrami teaches Persian language and literature at New York University. He is coeditor of A World Between: Poems and Short Stories by Iranian-Americans. Shouleh Vatanabadi teaches Near Eastern culture and civilization at New York University.


  • Introduction—the Editors.
  • I Came to Have Tea with My Daughter—S. Arastuyi.
  • The Absent Soldier—F. Sari.
  • Contrary to Democracy—F. Hajizadah.
  • Cling to Life with Your Whole Body—K. Hejazi.
  • Love and Scream—C. Yasrebi.
  • The End, a City—M. Bahrami.
  • Smile!—F. Kheradmand.
  • Disappearance of an Ordinary Woman—T. Alavi.
  • The Fin Garden of Kashan—S. Mahmudi.
  • Sour Cherry Pits—Z. Pirzad.
  • The Pool—B. Hejazi.
  • One Woman, One Love—F. Aqai.
  • That Day—N.A. Khorasani.
  • Butterflies—M. Sharifzadeh.
  • Lida's Cat, the Bakery, and the Streetlight Pole—A. Bahrami.
  • The Lark—N. Tabatabai.
  • My Mother, Behind the Glass—F. Vafi.
  • Downfall—N. Masuri.
  • War Letters—M. Riahi.
  • Refugee—F. Karampur.
  • The Bitter Life of Shirin—P. Fadavi.