Told poignantly and with a blunt honesty that seems a characteristic of Alinejad’s life and writing, here is a gripping tale that permits us to peek at the inner workings of the Iranian Revolution and consider the question of its health and longevity ... The Wind in My Hair exposes just how vexing it is to disentangle the veil from the context in which it is worn and thus to wage a transnational fight either for its permissibility or its elimination. Now in exile, Alinejad, a woman of exceptional courage, must face the tragedy of being territorially torn from a struggle that is uniquely Iranian and also crucially feminist. In Trump’s America, the agenda of My Stealthy Freedom confronts the further danger of being sucked into the maw of a massive American warmongering machine, eager to drop bombs, to eliminate veils and mean Muslim men. This is not Alinejad’s goal, and she tries mightily to articulate the difference, the possibility, of opposing both those who enforce the veil and those who wish to ban it.
The gutsy author tells her life story in a chatty, confiding tone. She captures well the experience of growing up poor in a small rural village ... At nearly 400 pages, the book–overly long and occasionally repetitive–would have benefited from some trimming. Still, The Wind in My Hair movingly conveys not only the significance of its author’s activism but, given that she hasn’t been able to see her family in almost a decade, its considerable costs.
Although some personal anecdotes read as stream-of-consciousness memories, her descriptions of life as a journalist and activist will captivate readers interested in Iran, international affairs, gender equality, and human rights.