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Distributed for Leiden University Press

Mirrors of Entrapment and Emancipation

Forugh Farrokhzad and Sylvia Plath

Images of mirrors and reflection have long played a substantial role in literature by women, used to convey ineffable psychological states, the countless images that define and complicate women’s lives, and much more. In Mirrors of Entrapment and Emancipation, Leila Rahimi Bahmany focuses in particular on the work of two major women writers, Persian poet Forugh Farrokhzad (1935–67) and the American Sylvia Plath (1932–63), exploring the various ways that these two artists deployed mirrors and reflections as sites of entrapment or emancipation.

386 pages | 6 x 9 | © 2015

Iranian Studies Series

Literature and Literary Criticism: General Criticism and Critical Theory

Women's Studies

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“By using diverse literary theories the author is not only able to detect remarkable parallels in the work of the two poets, which would otherwise have largely remained unnoticed, but can show how similarly both women strove to overcome confining patriarchal definitions of womanhood in their creative work and to reconcile their own artistic ambitions with the expectations of their environment, thus revealing universal traits of the feminine struggle for self-expression across cultural borders and language barriers.”

Maria Macuch, Freie Universität Berlin

“Through a combination of close textual analysis and insightful historical surveys, Mirrors of Entrapment and Emancipation casts substantial new light on some essential dynamics governing the works of two remarkable woman poets of the mid-twentieth century, one an Iranian, the other an American. The result is a quantum leap in our understanding of the works of Sylvia Plath and Forugh Farrokhzad.”

Ahmad Karimi-Hakkak, University of Maryland

“Rahimi Bahmany’s innovative and timely study shows how it is not only possible but also fruitful to discuss modern Iranian writers within a global literary framework. There is much to be learned here for students of both Plath and Farrokhzad.”

Dominic Parviz Brookshaw, University of Oxford

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