Gifted journalist Gelareh Asayesh writes indelibly of her struggle to balance an Iranian childhood with her adult life in America.
This lyrical memoir evinces the author’s passion for constructing an American life with the spiritual fervor and deeply aesthetic rituals that were part of her childhood in Iran. Asayesh, who immigrated to North Carolina as a girl, writes too of her struggle to arrive at an acceptable sexuality in the face of parental panic, and tells of her frustration, during later trips to post-Shah Iran, with “the sisters,” the Ayatollah’s ubiquitous enforcers of female modesty.
“Beguiling. . . . An American manifesto, if ever there was one.” -Wendy Law-Yone, The Washington Post Book World
“Asayesh’s superb memoir . . . is funny, human, real, and illuminates a dignified, honest, and endearing family.” -James McBride, author of The Color of Water
“Asayesh reminds us of every adopted person’s dream: to reclaim the past and take it into the future. . . . A graceful and moving account of how a temporary visa can become a permanent life.” -Richard Wallace, San Francisco Chronicle
“This beautifully written narrative provides a rare, humanizing glimpse into the politics, culture, and geography of a place about which most Americans know shamefully little. . . . A wonderful and timely tale.” -Rachel Mattson, Library Journal
“What makes this work particularly effective is the manner in which Asayesh weaves her keen reporter’s eye for objective detail with her almost poetic ability to describe and analyze her own emotional connection to the story.” -Kirkus Reviews