At 5, Nioucha moves with her Iranian father and French mother from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to Tehran—just three years before the revolution.
Though disoriented by the move, she quickly picks up Farsi and begins to enjoy her new life surrounded by her Iranian family. But then the Islamic Revolution breaks out and the war with Iraq commences, and Nioucha’s life changes dramatically. Dress codes are strictly enforced, there is no more learning French, schools are segregated, and police patrol the streets looking for lawbreakers—that’s life under Ayatollah Khomeini, whose version of Islam Nioucha learns is nothing like what most people practice or say of the religion. But life must go on, and so it does, but with many nights spent in the makeshift bomb shelter or sneaking around behind her parents’ backs and hoping not to get caught by the Zeinab Sisters or morals police. But one hot summer day, Nioucha is caught, taken in a black jeep to an isolated part of Tehran, and locked up in an abandoned building for disobeying the law. Dancing through time between Nioucha’s detention by the Zeinab Sisters and her experiences acclimating to Iranian culture throughout the 1980s, Homayoonfar weaves a gripping coming-of-age tale set in a fraught political era that continues to affect our world today. Family snapshots and excerpts from her diary help to ground her story.
A candid memoir that offers a personal, particular perspective on life in Tehran in the wake of the 1979 Islamic Revolution. (Memoir. 12-16)