Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Book Review: Iran Awakening by Shirin Ebadi

Iran Awakening: A Memoir of Revolution and Hope by Shirin Ebadi

I was drawn to this memoir because she won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2003 and I had never heard of her or her work. I guess that would seem normal as she is Iranian and we are cut off from much of Iran.

Memoirs are memoirs. They either tell us too much or not enough. This one falls into the later category and left me asking several questions. Ebadi is vague about her work and I believe this is because she cannot discuss it in its entirety out of fear for her life. She goes from a stint in prison to winning the Nobel Peace Prize and I found myself questioning why she received it.

I'm not saying that she doesn't deserve it, I just wanted more details on her accomplishments up until that point. I believe the vagueness also has to do with the difficulty of having an Iranian author publish within the U.S. as well. She had to sue the Treasury Department for the right to publish her memoir.

Overall I would recommend this memoir as it discusses the 1979 Iranian Revolution from a female perspective and gives great insight into Iranian politics over the last fifty years.

Kim's Grade: B

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