LIVING IN HELL by Ghazal Omid

LIVING IN HELL

A True Odyssey of a Woman's Struggle in Islamic Iran Against Personal and Political Forces
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KIRKUS REVIEW

A frightening memoir of growing up under Iran’s male-dominated oppressors, confirming that the mad ayatollahs have, in 27 years, wrecked a once-vibrant nation and destroyed its culture.

Omid’s Iran is a dysfunctional society in a “coma of ignorance,” led by “mindless fanatics.” Males are obsessed with money and hymens. Women, if they aren’t victims, have sold out and joined the Pasdar spies who hound female violators of the ayatollahs’ decrees. Throughout, Omid displays numerous perceptive, valuable observations: Ayatollah Khomeini’s command of Farsi was so weak he could barely be understood; his mullahs took the Shah’s palaces after the overthrow, then cornered the black market for food to become “even richer” than the Shah; 70 percent of Iran’s villages have been destroyed or abandoned under the mullahs. She also harbors no illusions about Iran’s wickedness: “If Iran becomes a nuclear power,” she warns, “the world should start digging, either their shelters or their graves...” What is most riveting, however, is her striking journal of personal pain within her abusive family–her brother forced her into persistent incest, her wealthy father humiliated her and abandoned the family to destitution and she was forced to battle her way out of one arranged engagement after another. Little wonder she has emerged on the far side, in Vancouver, as a brittle manic-depressive finding it difficult to outrun her past. Omid wrote most of Living in Hell in a single month while under a therapist’s care, imbuing the work with a powerful sense of urgency.

Passionate and commanding.

Pub Date: July 30th, 2005
ISBN: 0-9759683-0-0
Program: Kirkus Indie
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