They Said They Wanted Revolution: A Memoir of My Parents

Neda Toloui-Semnani. Little A, $24.95 (270p) ISBN 978-1-5420-0448-0
Journalist Toloui-Semnani debuts with a compassionate and deeply researched portrait of her parents, Iranian political activists in the U.S. who moved back to their native country after the Shah was toppled in 1979. Told in flashbacks and vignettes, the story begins in Tehran in 1982. Toloui-Semnani describes the last time she saw her father before he was arrested and executed, and details how she and her pregnant mother, a naturalized American citizen, were smuggled out of the country, arriving on foot and shoeless in Van, a Turkish city full of Iranian refugees. She also delves into her parents’ involvement in the anti-Shah movement in the U.S. in the 1970s, where they were leaders of the Union of Iranian Communists and the Iranian Student Association; details the power struggle between Islamists and leftists in Iran; and vividly captures historical events such as the botched takeover of the Iranian consulate in San Francisco in 1970. Throughout, Toloui-Semnani movingly reflects on how disconnected she felt from her Iranian roots while growing up in Washington, D.C., and weaves in diary excerpts and correspondence from her first trip back to Iran, in 2003. The result is an intimate and vital study of the Iranian diaspora. Agent: Bridget McCarthy, McCormick Literary. (Feb.)
Reviewed on : 11/29/2021
Release date: 02/01/2022
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 978-1-5420-0449-7
MP3 CD - 978-1-7136-2100-3
Compact Disc - 978-1-7136-2099-0
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