Revisiting the Past: Contribution of Counter-narratives in Liminal Formation of Identity in Yasmin Crowther's The Saffron Kitchen

Document Type: Research Papers


1 University of Tehran , Alborz Campus

2 Associate Professor of English Literature, Faculty of Literature and Foreign Languages, University of Tehran , Tehran, Iran


In diasporic literature the question of identity is tangled with the question of history. This study aims at discussing how Yasmin Crowther reviews the Persian tradition in The Saffron Kitchen, her autobiographical novel which is mainly set-in early 60s, Iran. The novel focuses on evoking and rewriting history by using different types of counter narratives that contrast with Iranian hegemonic discourse in the field of tradition and culture. It could be said that Crowther underlines Iran’s history during the pre-Revolutionary period and during the 1953 coup d'état and its immediate aftermaths rewrites the exclusiveness of the Persian traditional culture by focusing on the fissure and blank spots in formal representation of history. Within the gaps she re-experiences a history of confrontation and resistance against the dominant patriarchal hegemony, as well as the dominant discourse of power firmed in traditional culture. Her recalled history comprises not only Iranian cultural traditions but also the fear of oppression of people, particularly women, under the sovereignty of traditional cultural discourse. The study applies Homi K. Bhabah theories, as well as Michael Foucault's discourse and power. Thus, this paper aims to examine how Crowther has used counter narrative to distance her narrative from Islamic and political discourse, depict the image of a strong woman and to show historical changes in span of time. The outcomes indicate how the history is redefined under the light of cultural hegemony and the liminal formation of identity is shaped for women in diaspora narratives.


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