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My Name Is Iran

A Memoir

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A century of family tales from two beloved but divided homelands, Iran and America

Drawing on her remarkable personal history, NPR producer Davar Ardalan brings us the lives of three generations of women and their ordeals with love, rejection, and revolution. Her American grandmother's love affair with an Iranian physician took her from New York to Iran in 1931. Ardalan herself moved from San Francsico to rural Iran in 1964 with her Iranian American parents who barely spoke Farsi. After her parents' divorce, Ardalan joined her father in Brookline, Massachusetts, where he had gone to make a new life; however improbably, after high school, Ardalan decided to move back to an Islamic Iran. When she arrived, she discovered a world she hardly recognized, and one which demands a near-complete renunciation of the freedoms she experienced in the West. In time, she and her young family make the opposite migration and discover the difficulties, however paradoxical, inherent in living a free life in America.

From Publishers Weekly

Nov 13, 2006 – Ardalan, senior producer at NPR's Morning Edition, records in wooden bits and pieces the history of her Iranian family, both into and out of America. Ardalan (her given first name is Iran) is the granddaughter of an enterprising Bakhtiari tribesman who attended the American mission school in Tehran and graduated from Syracuse Medical School in 1926 at age 54; together with Ardalan's grandmother, an adventurous American nurse from Idaho, they moved to Iran to start both a hospital and a family of seven children. Ardalan, born in San Francisco in 1964, grew up largely in Iran (her father was a Kurdish architect, and her mother a writer and translator). In 1980 she returned to America, where she adopted her middle name to avoid censure, but three years later, in the most arresting segment of the memoir, Ardalan recounts her return to Tehran at age 18 to accept an arranged marriage and become a Shiite Muslim. Eventually she attended journalism school in New Mexico, endured two divorces and had four children over the years of building her career. While her prose is plain, Ardalan's testimony to the feminist spirit of the pioneering women in her family, and in the face of centuries-long strictures against the advancement of women, is a supreme achievement.

Customer Reviews

Love this book

Very well written. It takes you on a journey of a culture and the land that most Americans have no idea of.

My Name Is Iran
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  • $7.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Biographies & Memoirs
  • Published: Jul 01, 2010
  • Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
  • Seller: Macmillan / Holtzbrinck Publishers, LLC
  • Print Length: 336 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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