Burying the Beloved: Marriage, Realism, and Reform in Modern Iran

Synopsis

Burying the Beloved traces the relationship between the law and literature in Iran to reveal the profound ambiguities at the heart of Iranian ideas of modernity regarding women's rights and social status. The book reveals how novels mediate legal reforms and examines how authors have used realism to challenge and re-imagine notions of "the real." It examines seminal works that foreground acute anxieties about female subjectivity in an Iran negotiating its modernity from the Constitutional Revolution of 1905 up to and beyond the Islamic Revolution of 1979.

By focusing on marriage as the central metaphor through which both law and fiction read gender, Motlagh critically engages and highlights the difficulties that arise as gender norms and laws change over time. She examines the recurrent foregrounding of marriage at five critical periods of legal reform, documenting how texts were understood both at first publication and as their importance changed over time.