- Paperback: 240 pages
- Publisher: Random House Trade Paperbacks; 1 edition (January 13, 2004)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9780812968378
- ISBN-13: 978-0812968378
- ASIN: 0812968379
- Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.5 x 7.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 604 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #20,111 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Funny in Farsi: A Memoir of Growing Up Iranian in America Paperback – January 13, 2004
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“Heartfelt and hilarious—in any language.”—Glamour
“A joyful success.”—Newsday
“Remarkable . . . told with wry humor shorn of sentimentality . . . In the end, what sticks with the reader is an exuberant immigrant embrace of America.”—San Francisco Chronicle
“What’s charming beyond the humor of this memoir is that it remains affectionate even in the weakest, most tenuous moments for the culture. It’s the brilliance of true sophistication at work.”—Los Angeles Times Book Review
“Often hilarious, always interesting . . . Like the movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding, this book describes with humor the intersection and overlapping of two cultures.”—The Providence Journal
“A humorous and introspective chronicle of a life filled with love—of family, country, and heritage.”—Jimmy Carter
“Delightfully refreshing.”—Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
“[Funny in Farsi] brings us closer to discovering what it means to be an American.”—San Jose Mercury News
From the Inside Flap
In 1972, when she was seven, Firoozeh Dumas and her family moved from Iran to Southern California, arriving with no firsthand knowledge of this country beyond her father's glowing memories of his graduate school years here. More family soon followed, and the clan has been here ever since.
Funny in Farsi chronicles the American journey of Dumas's wonderfully engaging family: her engineer father, a sweetly quixotic dreamer who first sought riches on Bowling for Dollars and in Las Vegas, and later lost his job during the Iranian revolution; her elegant mother, who never fully mastered English (nor cared to); her uncle, who combated the effects of American fast food with an army of miraculous American weight-loss gadgets; and Firoozeh herself, who as a girl changed her name to Julie, and who encountered a second wave of culture shock when she met and married a Frenchman, becoming part of a one-couple melting pot.
In a series of deftly drawn scenes, we watch the family grapple with American English (hot dogs and hush puppies?--a complete mystery), American traditions (Thanksgiving turkey?--an even greater mystery, since it tastes like nothing), and American culture (Firoozeh's parents laugh uproariously at Bob Hope on television, although they don't get the jokes even when she translates them into Farsi).
Above all, this is an unforgettable story of identity, discovery, and the power of family love. It is a book that will leave us all laughing--without an accent.
"From the Hardcover edition.
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Bicycle touring accounts often mention the incredible hospitality of the Iranian people. This book gives an inside view of one extended family. They make Italians look like aloof anorectics. Too many of us equate Iran and the people who live, or come from, there with anti-Americanism and even terrorism. This book is a fun way to learn how wrong that stereotype actually is.
Anyway, I enjoyed this light read, and learned a good deal from it. (Did you know that Iranians are to family relationships as Eskimos are to snowflakes? They have like a dozen words for "cousin"!) There are discussion questions at the end of the book, so it could certainly work as a book club selection, as well as an enjoyable personal read.