Re-orientalisation and the Pursuit of Ecstasy: Remembering Homeland in Prisoner of Tehran

Esmaeil Zeiny Jelodar, Noraini Md. Yusof


The Western literary market is saturated with the Middle Eastern women memoirs since 9/11. What caused this saturation lies in the curiosity of the West to know about the Middle Easterners after 9/11 and the following President Bush’s ‘Axis of Evil’ speech addressed to Iran, North Korea and Iraq, followed by launching his ‘war on terror’ project. This was the time when an influx of memoirs by and about Iranian women has emerged. This paper examines Marina Nemat’s memories of her birthland in her memoir, Prisoner of Tehran. Utilizing Dabashi’s concept of ‘native informer’, Bhabha’s concept of ‘stereotypical representation’ and Sardar’s concept of ‘postmodernism,’ we argue that Nemat has adopted Western Orientalism in her discourse. Her stereotypical representations of Iran, Islam and Muslims, which bolster the hegemonic project of the West, lead to further orientalisation.

Keywords: Memoir, re-orientalisation, Iran, Islam, Muslims, women

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ISSN (Paper)2224-5766 ISSN (Online)2225-0484

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