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Book: From Iran to America - Mahnaz and Shirin - A Love Story by Reza Mashayekhi

Book: From Iran to America - Mahnaz and Shirin - A Love Story by Reza Mashayekhi

categories: Book, Fiction, Iran, Iranian, Sizdah Beh Dar, Shah of Iran, Savak, Mossaddegh, Love Story

Reza Mashayekhi

Author Reza Mashayekhiabout this book: I had always wanted to tell Americans and other Westerners how the people from the Middle East, including those from Iran, were different, and yet not-so-different, from everyone else. I had lots of stories to tell but, except through talking with my friends, I could never find a coherent AND interesting way of presenting my thoughts to others at large.

Then, recently, I located an old friend through Facebook, and things changed. As if a light had been turned on, enabling me to see things clearly. Inspired by the way I found my friend, as mentioned in the Foreword, I decided on a story line and started writing down all these different little episodes that I had witnessed, or had been aware of, or had personally experienced since childhood.

That was the easy part, though. The difficult part was putting them together in a way that made sense and was also interesting. I did that by creating a number of fictional characters and situations, and telling the entire story in the first person. The result is the book "From Iran to America: Mahnaz and Shirin—A Love Story," which gives the "interested" readers the opportunity to learn a few things about the Middle East, especially Iran, and maybe even themselves.

If you're even slightly curious about other cultures, not necessarily the Middle East, you will enjoy reading this book. And if you're from that part of the world, or have spent some time there, you will be reminded of some of your fond memories.

Here are excerpts from a few of the comments. (Please visit for the full text of the comments as well as the corresponding links.)

• Through anecdotes related between long lost acquaintances, Reza Mashayekhi has given us a glimpse of what it was like growing up in Iran. The tension of Iranian politics through the years, from Mosaddegh to the Shah to Khomeini, and the fear of SAVAK, the secret police, are balanced with the humor of the culture clash of coming to America and adjusting to customs much different from Iran's.
— John Cammalleri, Author

• Reza Mashayekhi peppers the narrative with asides that detail the history, culture or idiosyncratic preferences of the Iranian narrator which explain his actions. The result is a stream of consciousness story with a much deeper understanding of the character and with insights into how the Iranian culture influences him. An enjoyable story.
— Andrew F. Rey, Author

• What I like most about this book is the way Persian parables are woven through the author's philosophy and outlook on modern society, tolerance, politics and everyday struggles and joys. His voice is sincere, which makes me sit up and listen; it is authentic, which makes me want to read on; and it is humorous, which makes me laugh when sometimes I want to cry. If you want an insider's look of what it means to live in two worlds – the foreign and the foreigner – this book is a must read.
— Leilani Squire, Writer

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