Honeymoon in Purdah is the perfect travel memoir: Observant, wise and very funny.
— The Calgary Sun

Donning the cloak of Islam, Alison Wearing journeys beyond the legacy of revolution, religious fundamentalism and veiled women to find the real people of Iran. She takes us into the homes and hearts of people whose spirit, intelligence and laughter enlighten and impress, and the result is a collection of riveting, often funny, portraits of the generous, irrepressible people she meets on her travels. With a novelist’s love of language and eye for dramatic detail, Wearing offers us startling glimpses into this enigmatic country and introduces us to people who welcome her, feed her and send her off on one adventure after another. Beautifully written, fresh and fascinating at every turn, Honeymoon in Purdah reveals an Iran rarely seen by Westerners.

Published by:

  • Deutsches Taschenbuch Verlag (Munich, 2004)
  • Ediciones B (Barcelona, 2002)
  • Byblos (Amsterdam, 2001)
  • Gotica (Lisbon, 2001)
  • Vintage Canada (Toronto, 2001)
  • Macmillan (London, 2000)
  • Picador (New York, 2000)
  • Alfred A. Knopf Canada (Toronto, 2000)
“One of the most entertaining and insightful travel diaries since Paul Theroux fell in love with Asian railways…After reading Honeymoon in Purdah, you will never think of Iran the same way again.”
— Ottawa Citizen
As a writer, Wearing is all luscious texture and running narrative. She is the companion on the bus with the endless supply of traveller’s tales, each one tripping into the next. And like most raconteurs, she has embroidered the fabric of her reportage to ‘lend artistry to a scene,’ and to paint portraits that are true in spirit...

As with any good travel book, Honeymoon in Purdah is not a tour of monuments, but an exploration of a nation’s psyche, in this case a proud, generous and enduring one…
— The Globe and Mail
Compulsively readable.
— The Toronto Star
Wise, compassionate, amused and amusing, Alison Wearing is the ideal travel companion, and this is the most vital account of contemporary Iran – in all its tragic-comic dimensions – I have read.
— Paul William Roberts, author of The Demonic Comedy: Some Detours in the Baghdad of Saddam Hussein
A vivid and endearing picture of Iran’s people.
— Independent on Sunday
With an open heart, a sharp eye and a fine-tuned ear, Alison Wearing lets the Iranians she encounters create with their own words a kind of collective self-portrait – a vocal mosaic of a misunderstood people. Honeymoon in Purdah is lively, moving and – like most books that offer genuine insights – extremely funny.
— Steven Heighton
Lyrical, insightful and funny.
— National Post
Bright and searingly observant, [Wearing] paints indelible moments from her honeymoon with Iran…The cumulative effect is like reading Alice in Wonderland.
— The Toronto Star
With this engrossing account, Wearing casts a sympathetic eye on the real people of Iran, so often invisible to the West.
— Publishers Weekly
An engaging and lyrical work…Its sharp yet sympathetic eye for detail allows the everyday citizens whom the author encounters and observes to emerge from behind the stereotype and reveal what Wearing herself calls ‘the poetry of their lives’.
— Calgary Herald
Alison Wearing has assembled a series of rich and funny anecdotes about Iran, a nation few Westerners get beneath the surface of, let alone visit.
— Maclean’s
I got on the bus to Iran with Alison Wearing in Istanbul on the first page and got off in Damascus with the last. Written with great humour, candour and tenderness, Honeymoon in Purdah transformed Iran from a country I had formerly associated with fear and black cloth and oppression to a place of a thousand colours and tastes and kindnesses. This book is why we travel and why we read travel writing: to be transported, and to return transformed.

— Jamie Zeppa, author of Beyond the Sky and the Earth: A Journey to Bhutan