Funny in Farsi: A Memoir of Growing Up Iranian in America
- Publish Date: 2004-01-13
- Binding: Paperback
- Author: Firoozeh Dumas
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER â¢ Finalist for the PEN/USA Award in Creative Nonfiction, the Thurber Prize for American Humor, and the Audie Award in Biography/Memoir
This Random House Readerâs Circle edition includes a reading group guide and a conversation between Firoozeh Dumas and Khaled Hosseini, author of The Kite Runner!
âRemarkable . . . told with wry humor shorn of sentimentality . . . In the end, what sticks with the reader is an exuberant immigrant embrace of America.ââSan Francisco Chronicle
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 fatherâs 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 Dumasâs 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?âa complete mystery), American traditions (Thanksgiving turkey?âan even greater mystery, since it tastes like nothing), and American culture (Firoozehâs parents laugh uproariously at Bob Hope on television, although they donât 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 laughingâwithout an accent.
Praise for Funny in Farsi
âHeartfelt and hilariousâin any language.ââGlamour
âA joyful success.ââNewsday
âWhatâs charming beyond the humor of this memoir is that it remains affectionate even in the weakest, most tenuous moments for the culture. Itâs the brilliance of true sophistication at work.ââLos Angeles Times Book Review
âOften hilarious, always interesting . . . Like the movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding, this book describes with humor the intersection and overlapping of two cultures.ââThe Providence Journal
âA humorous and introspective chronicle of a life filled with loveâof family, country, and heritage.ââJimmy Carter
âDelightfully refreshing.ââMilwaukee Journal Sentinel
â[Funny in Farsi] brings us closer to discovering what it means to be an American.ââSan Jose Mercury News