Together Tea

Marjan Kamali. Ecco, $14.99 trade paper (256p) ISBN 978-0-06-223680-7
Kamali’s debut, set in the mid-’90s, is the story of Darya and Mina Rezayi, mother and daughter in a family that emigrated to the U.S. from Iran after Mina’s grandmother was killed by an Iraqi bomb. One of three children trying to live up to their parents’ expectations, Mina would rather paint than finish her MBA. But mostly she wishes her mother, a frustrated mathematician, would stop creating spreadsheets of eligible Iranian-American men, who have so far all disappointed her. Darya’s husband embraces the can-do American spirit, but she misses prerevolutionary Iran, with its emphasis on family and tradition, and accompanies Mina on a visit to their homeland. The book’s second part takes place in Tehran, but during the revolution and the early years of the war with Iraq. Kamali’s lyrical writing is particularly vivid here, and warm, as with the many descriptions of tarof, a Persian verbal tradition. Although there are differences in Mina’s and Darya’s American experiences, the author effectively evokes the pull both women feel toward Iran. She creates empathy for a people forced to live one life in public and another privately. Agent: Wendy Sherman, Wendy Sherman Associates Literary Management. (June)
Reviewed on: 04/29/2013
Release date: 05/01/2013
Genre: Fiction
Ebook - 336 pages - 978-0-06-223682-1
Downloadable Audio - 978-0-06-226829-7
Prebound-Glued - 321 pages - 978-0-606-31774-0
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Audio book sample courtesy of HarperAudio
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