NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • 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 Reader’s Circle edition includes a reading group guide and a conversation between Firoozeh Dumas and Khaled Hosseini, author of The Kite Runner! “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 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. Praise for Funny in Farsi “Heartfelt and hilarious—in any language.”—Glamour “A joyful success.”—Newsday “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 Trade Paperback edition.
Shaped by the experiences of the Iranian Revolution, Iranian-American autobiographers use this chaotic past to tell their current stories in the United States. Wagenknecht analyzes a wide range of such writing and draws new conclusions about migration, exile, and life between different and often clashing cultures.
Showing how to teach the literature of today’s Middle East, this book offers teachers a powerful resource for helping students to think deeply and critically about the politics and culture of the Middle East through literary engagements.
"The concept of immigration remains central to American culture, past and present. This original anthology surveys the experience from a wide range of cultural and historical viewpoints, ranging from the 17th to 21st centuries. Contributors include Hector St. John de Crevecoeur, Jacob Riis, Edwidge Danticat, Junot Diaz, and many others"--
The most populous Islamic country in the Middle East, Iran is rife with contradictions, in many ways caught between the culture and governments of the Western—more dominant and arguably imperalist—world and the ideology of conservative fundamentalist Islam. This book explores the present-day writings of authors who explore these oppositional forces, often finding a middle course between the often brutal and demonizing rhetoric from both sides. To combat how the West has falsely generalized and stereotyped Iran, and how Iran has falsely generalized and stereotyped the West, Iranian and diasporic writers deconstruct Western caricatures of Iran and Iranian caricatures of the West. In so doing, they provide especially valuable insights into life in Iran today and into life in the West for diasporic Iranians.
Adventures of an Iranian American, at Home and Abroad
Author: Firoozeh Dumas
Category: Biography & Autobiography
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • “There’s such warmth to Dumas’ writing that it invites the reader to pull up a seat at her table and smile right along with her at the quirks of her family and Iranians and Americans in general.”—Booklist In the New York Times bestselling memoir Funny in Farsi, Firoozeh Dumas recounted her adventures growing up Iranian American in Southern California. Now she again mines her rich Persian heritage in Laughing Without an Accent, sharing stories both tender and humorous on being a citizen of the world, on her well-meaning family, and on amusing cultural conundrums, all told with insights into the universality of the human condition. (Hint: It may have to do with brushing and flossing daily.) With dry wit and a bold spirit, Dumas puts her own unique mark on the themes of family, community, and tradition. She braves the uncommon palate of her French-born husband and learns the nuances of having her book translated for Persian audiences (the censors edit out all references to ham). And along the way, she reconciles her beloved Iranian customs with her Western ideals. Explaining crossover cultural food fare, Dumas says, “The weirdest American culinary marriage is yams with melted marshmallows. I don’t know who thought of this Thanksgiving tradition, but I’m guessing a hyperactive, toothless three-year-old.” On Iranian wedding anniversaries: “It just initially seemed odd to celebrate the day that ‘our families decided we should marry even though I had never met you, and frankly, it’s not working out so well.’” On trying to fit in with her American peers: “At the time, my father drove a Buick LeSabre, a fancy French word meaning ‘OPEC thanks you.’” Dumas also documents her first year as a new mother, the familial chaos that ensues after she removes the television set from the house, the experience of taking fifty-one family members on a birthday cruise to Alaska, and a road trip to Iowa with an American once held hostage in Iran. Droll, moving, and relevant, Laughing Without an Accent shows how our differences can unite us—and provides indelible proof that Firoozeh Dumas is a humorist of the highest order. Praise for Laughing Without an Accent “Dumas is one of those rare people: a naturally gifted storyteller.”—Alexander McCall Smith “Laughing Without an Accent is written . . . as if Dumas were sharing a cup of coffee with her reader as she relates her comic tales. . . . Firoozeh Dumas exudes undeniable charm [as she] reveals a zeal for culture—both new and old—and the enduring bonds of a family filled with outsize personalities.”—San Francisco Chronicle “[Dumas is] like a blend of Anne Lamott and Erma Bombeck.”—Bust “Humorous without being sentimental, [Dumas] speaks to the American experience.”—The Plain Dealer From the Hardcover edition.
Teaching about Culture in the Composition Classroom
Author: Joanna N. Paull
Publisher: Cambridge Scholars Publishing
From Hip-Hop to Hyperlinks is a text designed to invigorate composition teachers’ classroom approaches for getting students to better understand American culture(s). The contributors share their strategies from their classrooms, including such exciting topics as food, comedy, music, technology, and photography. Readers may use this collection in a pragmatic way or as inspiration for developing and revising their current cultural curriculum. In general, these essays trace semester-long course structures to allow readers to see how one assignment leads into the next, often offering student writing samples along the way. There is not another collection out there quite like this one. Ideal for graduate students learning strategies for teaching, new teachers seeking some effective strategies or even seasoned professors looking for new teaching ideas, From Hip-Hop to Hyperlinks is an exciting addition to any composition instructor’s collection of teaching texts.