INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER - Pulitzer Prize winning author presents the stories of a wide range of Muslim women in the Middle East. As an Australian American and an experienced foreign correspondent, Brooks' thoughtful analysis attempts to understand the precarious status of women in the wake of Islamic fundamentalism.
"Frank, enraging, and captivating." - The New York Times
Nine Parts of Desire is the story of Brooks' intrepid journey toward an understanding of the women behind the veils, and of the often contradictory political, religious, and cultural forces that shape their lives. Defying our stereotypes about the Muslim world, Brooks' acute analysis of the world's fastest growing religion deftly illustrates how Islam's holiest texts have been misused to justify repression of women, and how male pride and power have warped the original message of a once liberating faith.
As a prizewinning foreign correspondent for The Wall Street Journal, Geraldine Brooks spent six years covering the Middle East through wars, insurrections, and the volcanic upheaval of resurgent fundamentalism. Yet for her, headline events were only the backdrop to a less obvious but more enduring drama: the daily life of Muslim women.
``Almighty God created sexual desires in ten parts; then he gave nine parts to women and one to men,'' explained Ali, founder of Islam's Shiite branch. In this powerful and enlightening report, Muslim women emerge from under their black chadors-often hiding jeans or high-fashion clothing-as a horrifyingly oppressed class slowly liberating themselves from the worst practices but still adhering to the basic values of Islam. Drawing on six years as the Wall Street Journal's Middle East reporter, Brooks presents stunning vignettes of women she has met-the American-born Queen Noor of Jordan, Hamas supporters in Gaza, Ayatollah Khomeini's daughter, Egyptian belly dancers, Saudi housewives, Iranian athletes, secretaries, divorcees, foreigners married to Muslim husbands, activists. Brooks carefully distinguishes mysogyny and oppressive cultural traditions from what she considers the true teachings of the Koran and the liberating philosophies of Muhammad. In some Muslim countries, external events and a small but burgeoning women's movement have somewhat liberalized the marital contract and opened up educational opportunities, some jobs and political offices to women, but genital mutilation continues, even for Muslim women in the U.S. Brooks hopes the U.S. will consider gender persecution a reason to offer asylum. Literary Guild selection; author tour.
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9 parts of desire
Remarkable in moving back and forth from the time of Mohammed to that of Khomeni, it is a personal and intimate window from which i was able to understand Muslim women. GB depicts with an immediacy of her own experience the pressures and the history that Muslim women carry in making decisions about the extent to which Muslim law dictates their lives. It makes one really aware of the complex societies these women live in, how they navigate the paths of individual identity , and the consequences they face, some very bravely, depending on their decisions. This book is an important picture that we must imprint on our understanding of a society of women, which by its very nature is incredibly private.