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$14.95  $13.90
Bloomsbury Academic
Publish Date
4.72 X 6.46 X 0.63 inches | 0.44 pounds

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About the Author
Pardis Mahdavi is Dean of Social Sciences in The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and a Professor in the School of Social Transformation at Arizona State University, USA. She is a non-fiction writer with 20 years of experience as an anthropologist, public health researcher, and expert in sexual politics across the globe. She is the author of five books, including the first book on the sexual politics of modern Iran, Passionate Uprisings: Iran's Sexual Revolution (2008). A former journalist turned academic, she has written for Ms. Magazine, Foreign Affairs, The Conversation, The Huffington Post, Jaddaliyya, and The Los Angeles Times Magazine. Her work has been covered in documentaries, radio shows, podcasts, and media outlets, including CNN, PBS, NPR, and Publishers Weekly

The hyphen, which may not technically qualify as a punctuation mark, because it operates at the level of the word rather than the sentence--it doesn't make you pause (though it may give you pause)--has inspired not one great book but two: 'Meet Mr. Hyphen (And Put Him in His Place), ' a classic by Edward N. Teall, published in 1937, and Hyphen, by Pardis Mahdavi, which came out in 2021. Mahdavi, an Iranian-American (hyphen hers), was a dean at Arizona State University when she tackled this project, as part of a series for Bloomsbury Academic called Object Lessons, 'about the hidden lives of ordinary things.' - Mary Norris, The New Yorker

While the hyphen shines as a connector of compound words and allows them, over time, to take on new meanings, for the author its true magic lies in its ability to harmonize and honor a person's individuality. - Shelf Awareness

Mahdavi's compelling histories offer guidance for a way out of a struggle that binds us all within so many unhelpful and frankly boring binaries. The book rules. - The Stranger

"Part memoir, part meditation, this book, like the hyphen, is small but mighty. Mahdavi weaves together the line-breaking history of a typographical mark with the heart-breaking choices faced by those living hyphenated lives-Chinese-American, African-American, Mexican-American-in the United States. Mahdavi draws on her ethnographic skills to reveal how the hyphen can punctuate lives, tearing them apart. Yet the hyphen's connective force cannot be underestimated. Ultimately, as an Iranian-American, Mahdavi urges refusal, showing us that to embrace the hyphen is to choose wholeness." --Elizabeth Chin, Professor of Media Design Practices, ArtCenter College of Design, USA, and Editor-in-Chief of American Anthropologist