Camelia: Save Yourself by Telling the Truth: A Memoir of Iran

Camelia Entekhabi-Fard, Author, George Murer, Translator . Seven Stories $23.95 (253p) ISBN 978-1-58322-719-0

Entekhabifard, an Iranian-born journalist now living in the U.S., opens her intriguing memoir on January 16, 1979, the day the Shah fled Tehran. She'd just turned six, so she didn't understand the tumult; she knew her parents preferred the Shah to Khomeini's mullahs, but neither of them discussed leaving Iran. She explains, how, instead, they adjusted. Mother and daughters observed hijab when necessary and, like others, learned not to attract the attention of the revolutionary guards. A poet, Entekhabifard took advantage of the Khatami regime's reformist climate to start work as a journalist. When political winds shifted, she was jailed for three months, where she cultivated a romantic attachment with her interrogator. His passion secured her release, but soon she realized she had to leave Iran, and him, and try a career in America. Rather than narrate her story chronologically (which would emphasize a repression-to-freedom theme), Entekhabifard intercuts accounts of various incidents, so that heavier stories—like her romance with her interrogator—emerge gradually. In the end, hers is a strangely disorienting account of that period. (Feb.)

Reviewed on: 01/01/2007
Release date: 03/01/2007
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