Women without Men is another entry in the growing category of Iranian cultural exports to the U.S., and one of the best. Like the Cannes-winning film The White Balloon, Women without Men presents a much different view of Iranian life than readers might expect based on reports from the evening news--a nuanced, subtle, self-reflexive society much concerned with the role of art in both everyday life and in the turbulent cultural politics of the nation. The story of a group of diverse Iranian women who forge a brief-lived utopian society, Women without Men also addresses, in startling, beautiful prose, the lives of women in any modern society. The fact that these stories can be transposed to, and understood by, Americans, is one of the pleasant surprises of the book; this isn't just a novel for scholars, but for anyone looking for a story that's both entertaining and profound. And, the translators, one Iranian and one American, have done a fabulous job in rendering the Persian into lucid English. I give this book five stars because, even though it's a small book, as one of the very few first rate translations of contemporary Iranian literature, it should be at the top of the reading list for anyone interested in international writing.