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Funny in Farsi: A Memoir of Growing Up Iranian in America (Paperback)

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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

This new Readers Circle edition includes a reading group guide and a conversation between Firoozeh Dumas and Khaled Hosseini, author of The Kite Runner.

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.

About the Author


Firoozeh Dumas graduated from the University of California at Berkeley. She lives with her husband and children in Northern California.

Praise for Funny in Farsi: A Memoir of Growing Up Iranian in America…


“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

“Heartfelt and hilarious—in any language.”
Glamour

“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

"A humorous and introspective chronicle of a life filled with love--of family, country, and heritage."
-Jimmy Carter

Product Details ISBN-10: 0812968379
ISBN-13: 9780812968378
Published: Random House Trade Paperbacks, 01/13/2004
Pages: 240
Language: English