22 August 2003

Book Review: Honeymoon in Purdah, by Alison Wearing, ***

With a love of travel, Alison Wearing invites us to journey with her to Iran. She went looking for what lay beneath the media's representation of Iran and found a country made up of welcoming, curious, warmhearted, ambitious men and women. With humor and compassion, Wearing gives Iranians the chance to wander beyond headlines and stereotypes.

This is an interesting travelogue by a Canadian lady who has to have "husband" (I won't spoil the plot here!) to travel to Iran where, she says, you can not share a hotel room if you are not married. In my personal experience (as of 2003), this is true for Iranians, atleast officially, but not for foreigners.

Be that as it may, Wearing offers a good glimpse of everyday life in Iran, meets a lot of people and talks to them, so this is a useful travelogue to meet, through her, parts of the Iranian society one is unlikely to hear about from abroad. Iranian hospitality and friendliness permeate this book, and I was able to verify this myself. Same for the rudeness of some officials in uniform. All is all an entertaining account, though at times the book loses its pace and I found myself putting it down.

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