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Guest House for Young Widows
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About the Author

Azadeh Moaveni is a journalist, writer, and academic who has been covering the Middle East for nearly two decades. She started reporting in Cairo in 1999 while on a Fulbright fellowship to the American University in Cairo. For the next several years she reported from throughout the region as Middle East correspondent for Time magazine, based in Tehran, and also covering Lebanon, Syria, Egypt, and Iraq. She is the author of Lipstick Jihad and Honeymoon in Tehran, and the co-author, with Nobel Peace Laureate Shirin Ebadi, of Iran Awakening. In November 2015 she published a front-page article in The New York Times on ISIS women defectors that was a Pulitzer Prize finalist as part of the Times's ISIS coverage. Her writing appears in The Guardian, The New York Times, and The London Review of Books. She teaches journalism at NYU in London, is a former New America Fellow, and is now senior gender analyst at the International Crisis Group. www.AzadehMoaveni.com

Reviews

'A skilful, sensitive report ... Superb.'

-- Rafia Zakaria * The Guardian *

'The debate badly needs an injection of sanity. Happily, Azadeh Moaveni's Guest House for Young Widows ... provides some perspective ... Moaveni makes several pertinent points.'

-- Louise Callaghan * The Sunday Times *

'Azadeh Moaveni has written a powerful, indispensable book on a challenging subject: the inner lives and motivations of women who joined or supported the Islamic State militant group. It is a great read, digestible and almost novelistic, but it is much more than that. Guest House for Young Widows: Among the Women of ISIStackles many taboos that have hampered clear-eyed discussion of Islamist extremism in general and ISIS in particular. The book provides an illuminating, much-needed corrective to stock narratives, not only about the group that deliberately and deftly terrified officials and publics across the world, but also about the larger 'war on terror' and the often ineffective, even counterproductive policies of Western and Middle Eastern governments.'

-- Anne Barnard * New York Times *

'In this searing investigation, Moaveni explores the phenomenon of Muslim women - many of them educated, successful, and outwardly Westernised - choosing to travel to Syria in support of jihad ... In concise, visceral vignettes, Moaveni immerses her readers in a milieu saturated with the romantic appeal of violence. The result is a journalistic tour de force that lays bare the inner lives, motivations, and aspirations of her subjects.' STARRED REVIEW * Publishers Weekly *

'Eloquent, empathetic, insightful - and essential reading. A book chief international correspondent goes beyond slogans and stereotypes on a journey into a world we know too little about, in an attempt to understand young women whose stories startle and sadden.'

-- Lyse Doucet, BBC chief international correspondent

'What an extraordinary subject and what an extraordinary writer. This book will stun people ... It takes you somewhere you've never been before ... She writes wonderfully clearly and reveals these lives and these stories in all their complexities ... An incredibly important book.'

-- Frances Wilson

'Azadeh Moaveni offers what is sure to become a modern classic, answering the question of how Muslim women become, as the Western media puts it, "radicalised" ... Moaveni not only provides granular views of particular women as they navigate this sociopolitical minefield but also situates these stories in a broader cultural context, rendering them legible in compelling ways ... I couldn't put the book down.'

-- Kelly Blewett * BookPage *

'Peeling back layers of gender, Islamophobia, faith, loyalty, and socialisation, Moaveni situates the women's stories within the larger historical and sociopolitical context of the time. Following 13 women in total, Guest House for Young Widows is an ambitious attempt to understand the attraction of ISIS for many disaffected youth who were ready to believe.'

-- Laura Chanoux * Booklist *

'Brilliantly provocative and genuinely eye-opening ... It is truly fascinating as well as being an incredibly well-written work of narrative nonfiction.'

-- Alison Huber * Readings *

'Azadeh Moaveni has achieved a feat of reporting to provide a rare glimpse into the private lives of these ordinary people caught up in extraordinary events. Brave, visceral, moving; essential reading for anyone seeking to understand so much of the violence in our troubled world.'

-- Ben Rawlence, author of City of Thorns

'Essential reading.'

-- Martha Gill * The Times *
Praise for Honeymoon in Tehran:

'Honeymoon in Tehran is a timely, well-written, and intimate exploration of the soul of Iran. With an eye for detail and a feel for her subject matter, Moaveni has brought to life a country that is at once immensely important to the West and deeply misunderstood. Honest, perceptive, and nuanced, this tale of love and anguish in the Islamic Republic is brimming with poignant political insights. This book will enchant and educate.'

* Vali Nasr, author of The Shia Revival: How Conflicts Within Islam Will Shape the Future *
Praise for Iran Awakening:

'A moving portrait of a life lived in truth.'

* The New York Times Book Review *
Praise for Lipstick Jihad:

'[The] sense of being an outsider in two worlds may have made daily life difficult for Ms. Moaveni, but it also makes her a wonderfully acute observer, someone keenly attuned not only to the differences between American and Iranian cultures, but also to the ironies and contradictions of life today in Tehran.'

* Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times *

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