Date of Graduation


Document Type

UAF Access Only - Thesis

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in English (PhD)

Degree Level





Robin Roberts

Committee Member

Mohja Kahf

Second Committee Member

John DuVal


Contemporary novel, Iranian literature, Women's literature


This dissertation provides an in-depth examination of the tradition of women’s fiction in Iran. I argue that Iranian women writers create a voice of resistance in fiction writing, a literary tradition that belonged to men until 1947. Examining the role of gender issues and the exilic condition of the writers, the dissertation explains the connections between these writers, and explores the ways that the writers use fiction to comment on contemporaneous gender issues. After the revolution in 1979 and the rise of the Islamic Republic as the dominant power, Iranian women writers experience two forms of exile, internal exile and external exile. In internal exile, they are physically present in Iran but exiled from full participation in society. In external exile, they have to continue their lives and writings abroad. Since the novels I discuss are all available in English translations, this dissertation will focus on a critical approach to translation from a feminist perspective. The validity and reliability of translation and how the translators welcome the author’s explicit feminism or defense of women in their translation will be questioned. Analyzing translation illustrates instances of intercultural misunderstanding, and the importance of language and context in cross-cultural exchange.

Available for download on Saturday, July 17, 2021