When Skateboards Will Be Free: A Memoir of a Political Childhood

Said Sayrafiezadeh, Author, Saad Sayrafiezadeh, Author . Dial $22 (304p) ISBN 978-0-385-34068-7

In this subtle yet bracing account of growing up in Pittsburgh as the child of two committed socialists during the 1970s and ’80s, Sayrafiezadeh offers up a solidly written memoir expanding on a piece he wrote for Granta in 2005. The youngest son of an Iranian-born father and an American-Jewish mother, Sayrafiezadeh spent most of his life after age three as his mother’s emotional crutch after his father leaves to pursue a single-minded devotion to a cause that makes him “disappear behind this massive workload of revolution” and out of his son’s life. As Sayrafiezadeh moves from cheap to cheaper apartment with his fervently revolutionary mother, he comes to realize that his poverty “was intentional and self-inflicted... as opposed to a reality that could not be avoided”—so much so that his mother won’t get him a skateboard until “the revolution comes,” when “everyone will have a skateboard, because all skateboards will be free.” Sayrafiezadeh’s excellent memoir displays a sophistication and keen intelligence that allows him to walk the line between pain and humor without even seeming mawkish or cheaply cynical. (Mar.)

Reviewed on: 01/26/2009
Release date: 03/01/2009
Show other formats
Hardcover - 287 pages - 978-0-14-102982-5
Paperback - 306 pages - 978-0-385-34069-4
Open Ebook - 162 pages - 978-0-440-33839-0
Open Ebook - 1 pages - 978-1-299-21781-2
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
Email Address


Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.