The extreme anti-Western actions and attitudes of Iranians in the past decade have astonished and dismayed the West, which has characterized the Iranian positions as irrational and inexplicable. In this groundbreaking study of images of the West in Iranian literature, however, M. R. Ghanoonparvar reveals that these attitudes did not develop suddenly or inexplicably but rather evolved over more than two centuries of Persian-Western contact.
Notable among the authors whose works Ghanoonparvar discusses are Sadeq Hedayat, M. A. Jamalzadeh, Hushang Golshiri, Gholamhoseyn Sa'edi, Simin Daneshvar, Moniru Ravanipur, Sadeq Chubak, and Jalal Al-e Ahmad. This survey significantly illuminates the sources of Iranian attitudes toward the West and offers many surprising discoveries for Western readers, not least of which is the fact that Iranians have often found Westerners to be as enigmatic and incomprehensible as we have believed them to be.
"I do not know of any other work which surveys the whole range of 19th- and 20th-century Persian prose writing in this way—from the travel accounts (safarnamehs) of the 19th century down to the present day. Of especial interest and importance to Western readers is the author's analysis of post-revolutionary writing."
—Roger M. Savory, Professor Emeritus of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies, University of Toronto