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The Alley of Love and Yellow Jasmines Hardcover – Deckle Edge, June 4, 2013


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Harper (June 4, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 006200980X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062009807
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #150,438 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“Aghdashloo has a fascinating life story to tell, which she recounts in her memoir, The Alley of Love and Yellow Jasmines.” (Kirkus Reviews)

The Alley of Love and Yellow Jasmines is one woman’s straightforward account of the upheaval in Iran and her determination to overcome its impact on her life.” (Shelf Awareness)

From the Back Cover

Oscar nominee and Emmy Award–winning actress Shohreh Aghdashloo shares her remarkable personal journey—from a childhood in the Shah's Iran to the red carpets of Hollywood—in this dazzling memoir of family, faith, revolution, and hope.

Enchanted by the movies she watched while growing up in affluent Tehran in the 1950s and '60s, Shohreh Aghdashloo dreamed of becoming an actress despite her parents' more practical plans. When she fell in love and married her husband, Aydin, a painter twelve years her senior, she made him promise he'd allow her to follow her passion.

The first years of her marriage were magical. As Shohreh began to build a promising career, Aydin worked at the royal offices as an art director while exhibiting his paintings in Tehran. But in 1979 revolution swept Iran, toppling the Shah and installing an Islamic republic under the Ayatollah Khomeini. Alarmed by the stifling new restrictions on women and art, Shohreh made the bold and dangerous decision to escape the new regime and her home country. Leaving her family and the man she loved behind, she fled in a covert journey to Europe and eventually to Los Angeles.

In this moving, deeply personal memoir, Shohreh shares her story: it is a tale of privilege and affluence, pain and prejudice, tenacity and success. She writes poignantly about her struggles as an outsider in a for-eign culture—as a woman, a Muslim, and an Iranian—adapting to a new land and a new language. She shares behind-the-scenes stories about what it's really like to be a Hollywood actress—including being snubbed by two of Tinseltown's biggest names on Oscar night.

Lyrical and atmospheric, The Alley of Love and Yellow Jasmines is a powerful story of ambition, art, politics, terror, and courage—of an extraordinary woman determined to live her dreams.


More About the Author

Shohreh Aghdashloo won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress for HBO's House of Saddam and was the first Iranian actress to be nominated for an Academy Award, for her role in House of Sand and Fog. She has starred in the Fox series 24, and has been featured in a number of television shows and films. Born and raised in Tehran, she now lives in Los Angeles.

Customer Reviews

I honestly feel that it is a book that can change your life.
Patti Chadwick
The word "beautiful" comes a bit too many times in the text as if she were mostly interested by superficial exterior of people, objects, etc.
Pourpier
I loved the behind the scenes accounts of the stars of TV and movies.
Wilhelmina Zeitgeist

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Pourpier VINE VOICE on April 27, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is a memoir focused on how Shohreh Aghdashloo developed her passion for acting and worked her hard way up until success in Hollywood. So many iranians, especially expatriates, have lived her memories and would be touched by the descriptions of places, people, smells and struggle that she went through and would understand them deeply. So many are proud of her bravery and representation of free women from Iran, and will love to see how she overcame fear. For those reasons, it is an interesting story to read. It is easy to read in 5 to 6 hours. At the end, you just wish her to keep being successful and shine.

I still wish she would have hired a professional writer to write and edit the book to turn it into more exciting stories, and less narrative type for many of the parts of the book. It could then make the reader be transported into the story and feel one with her. The detailed description of the iranian regime, the Shah, the queen, Mossadegh etc. takes the energy off the reader. The word "beautiful" comes a bit too many times in the text as if she were mostly interested by superficial exterior of people, objects, etc. She especially takes many occasions to make other people say that she is beautiful herself and that all her movies and plays except one were successful. It may be true but it doesn't need to be shoved down the throat of the reader so many times. Non famous people are described compared to famous actors of present or past that everyone doesn't necessarily know, instead of saying something that would be specific to them. Many things are literally described instead of being suggested by a color, a symbol, a sound, as actors know how to present senses. They often are described two times, as iranians describe things. The text would benefit from lightening up.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Bukkene Bruse VINE VOICE on April 9, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Sohreh Aghdashloo's autobiography is a great addition to the growing body of Iranian diaspora memoirs. Like Daughter Of Persia and the graphic novel Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood, The Alley of Love and Yellow Jasmines is one successful woman's account of the challenges of leaving home and building a new successful life in a foreign land. Although these titles share common threads, the non-uniformity of their backgrounds, beliefs, and life paths (not to mention writing styles and even book formats) combine to give a sense of the breadth of the experiences of Iranian expats. Aghdashloo's memoir is particularly insightful because of her success in her new home country on its terms. Well worth the time.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Debra VINE VOICE on June 7, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I thoroughly enjoyed parts of this book and was lost through others. The description of her life in Iran and how difficult it was was really powerful and captivating. Later, the book starts to read like a curriculum vitae and she really lost me then. As another reviewer pointed out, the writing could have been much, much tighter. A lot of the narrative is very flowery language that is not really necessary, or is extraneous detail (like a list of every single play her second husband wrote, and every single play, movie and TV show she has ever acted in, and how popular they were, and what cities they were shown, etc.).

I also felt like I didn't really get a full picture of why she felt so compelled to leave Iran for her safety until the end of the book when she really details how bad the regime had gotten. Obviously it's common knowledge that Iran has serious problems, but the book should give enough detail to stand alone. Reading it, I didn't feel like I was there feeling the pressure to leave. Instead, I had to call on outside knowledge, which detracted from the reading experience. You walk away kind of understanding why she left, but it's not a visceral survival feeling that she really could have evoked.

Similarly, she describes falling in love with her first husband and how he basically chose Iran over her. That could have been explored a lot more to evoke more emotion. Instead, it just felt like "this happened, then this, this was scary, we talked on the phone, then we got divorced."

Having said all of that, the underlying story of her accomplishments is absolutely inspiring. A lot of time we only see the end result - like the award that appears to have come from nowhere. I always enjoy reading the back story - especially of people like Aghdashloo who pave the way for a new generation.

Overall worth the read, but the writing could be improved upon.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By hasselaar VINE VOICE on October 26, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I had expected a somewhat different book, a more in-depth, soul-searching description of the Persian diaspora, after the Shah fell. The book intrigued me, my interest was aroused by the thought of the inner-life and outer experiences of a young, beautiful, upper-class Persian lady having to leave everything behind, even her beloved husband. What torture this must have been, how did she ever survive, what psychological torment did this horrid experience exact from her?

Well, to say the least, this book in no way matched my expectations. This lady told me more about her friends, each yet more gorgeous, rich, and impossibly high-class than the next. The food was lovely, the private bars were elegant extravaganzas, organized for the rich-rich...while outside - students rioted in the streets, Americans were held hostage, the Shah tortured and killed seemingly everyone.....and Iran fell. "While Rome Burns" comes to mind.

The woman is an actress, from her telling - quite well-respected, but....the book was vapid. I would not recommend a purchase, but, it would make an interesting read, while you are having your weekly manicure and pedicure.

* The quality of the writing is poor and needs much editing. I read the ARC, let us hope that the final product reflects the stern supervision of an experienced editor.
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