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on April 2, 2011
Azadeh Moaveni is a likable young woman who never felt at "home" in America because of her Iranian heritage. She felt compelled to return to the country of her parents, who imigrated to America due to political turmoil at the end of the Shah's reign. Adadeh was thrilled by her parents tales of a beautiful country and customs of old. When she moved to Iran as a reporter for Time magazine, she found that she was more American than she thought. This is a wonderful personal story, woven with intricately detailed Iranian history. Azadeh can write like nobody's business, she is highly educated and her attention to detail is thorough. I loved this story and adore this writer, she is a wonderful story teller and hope she continues to write more in the future. Read Honeymoon in Tehran after this book as they are written in order of her experiences. I happened to be listening to Rosie radio on Sirius and Janette Barber mentioned what a great read these two books are, so I ordered them and agree. We in America hear only of the horrible government in Iran, not of the ordinary people who try to maintain a normal life with a brutal government. I highly recommend this to anyone who has a desire to understand the middle east, just a little bit more. Fantastic book.
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on August 24, 2009
As a Persian-speaking American who learned Persian in college and spent nine months in pre-revolutionary Iran, and am now married to an Iranian, I found Moaveni's book rang true on so many levels...it's the best take I've seen so far on the Iranian diaspora experience in the US, while her descriptions of life as an Iranian-American in Teheran are vivid and brilliantly crafted. So much of the heroism, tragedy and extraordinary cultural contrasts in Iran that we have witnessed on television and the Internet in recent months (2009) takes on whole new dimensions and a great deal more clarity with Moaveni's lucid revelations. I can't wait to read HONEYMOON IN TEHRAN.
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on October 11, 2009
I read Moaveni's folllow-up book to this one, Honeymoon in Tehran, before reading Lipstick Jihad. I was a huge fan and curious to read her "prequel". It was lots of fun to go vicariously experience her first impressions of Tehran and the experiences of her life that lead up to her first move there, especially already knowing what was to happen later in her tale. She is a beautiful and entertaining writer, infusing her account of modern Iranian culture with many on-the-ground, profoundly relate-able accounts. I left the book feeling inspired as a fellow journalist, and wishing I could go for coffee with Moaveni the next time she's in town!
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on June 8, 2007
I enjoyed this book and found it somewhat enlightening about Iran and it was interesting to read how the younger set manages to socialize despite the constant repression by their government. Before going to Iran to live for a time, the author has an idyllic remembrance of a visit there, coupled with the reminicenses of her family. Once she gets there she gets an education of what it's like to live in a society that is in no way free and is governed by religious fanatics.

I was annoyed that she still felt so torn throughout the book - she wanted Iran to be so different, and seemed to consider herself Iranian, never once acknowledging her great good fortune of having been born an American. She never mentioned an appreciation for America, only yearning for a better Iran so she could stay there, and ultimately went to live in Beirut but doesn't say why. She could not have a fulfilled life in America?

Another thing that bothered me was the narrow perspective. She wrote about how the people she socialized with didn't care at all about Islam and weren't religious, thus giving the impression that the only religious fanatics in Iran are the people running the government. She seemed to think that if Iran could go back to a secular government that Islam would no longer be a problem for Iranians. Also I would have liked more depth pertaining to the problems women experience in this type of environment.
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on March 25, 2013
This memoir portrays this woman's reflection on her struggle with finding identity between being an American and being Iranian, whatever each of those labels mean. Although much of the time there is a whiny tone, it proves that the author is being very genuine in the expression of her memories and feelings. It brings a personal perspective to the history of Iran and American-Iranian relations.
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on December 27, 2006
What a book! Azadeh is a very bright writer and did an excellent job of telling her story, great title too and very well chosen. This book brings a whole new dimension to Iran. While I thought most Middle Eastern people were obedient to their religion and the mullahs, government, etc., this throws that out the window. Many groups are very modern, rebel in their own ways and desire basic freedoms we all enjoy. They protest, they push the authorities, etc. After reading this, it is so clear to me that the Iranian government is not that tightly in place and the people will probably attain their freedom, as they had at one time, on their own. A very important book to read.
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on August 8, 2005
I think this is one of the best books I have read to date about the experience of an Iranian growing up in the USA and trying to cope and then going back to Iran under the IRI and trying to cope. I think that for the average 3rd or even 2nd generation American they have no idea of the complexity of the challenges psychologically, emotionally and socially that an immigrant is subjected to.

As I read the book I relived with the author the periods of naive hope and then brutal disillusionment that accompanied her in both cultures. I could relate in a very personal way with the various defence mechanisms and denials that different personality types developed to cope with either transplantation to the USA or life under the IRI.

My hat is off to Ms. Moaveni for such an accurate and insightful portrayal of the situation and I can certainly understand why she had to find a different place to live from either country.
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on October 1, 2015
exactly as described
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on October 23, 2013
Great book. Should be read by anyone born to or related to an Iranian. Answered a lot of questions. Very well written.
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on September 7, 2010
Moeveni takes special care while artfully drawing out the struggle to find a place torn between two homelands. More immportantly, her uncanny ability to describe the torment that so many of us "hyphenated" nationals feel. A good read.
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