My Name Is Iran

A Memoir

Davar Ardalan

Henry Holt and Co.

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A century of family tales from two beloved but divided homelands, Iran and America

Drawing on her remarkable personal history, NPR producer Davar Ardalan brings us the lives of three generations of women and their ordeals with love, rejection, and revolution. Her American grandmother’s love affair with an Iranian physician took her from New York to Iran in 1931. Ardalan herself moved from San Francsico to rural Iran in 1964 with her Iranian American parents who barely spoke Farsi. After her parents’ divorce, Ardalan joined her father in Brookline, Massachusetts, where he had gone to make a new life; however improbably, after high school, Ardalan decided to move back to an Islamic Iran. When she arrived, she discovered a world she hardly recognized, and one which demands a near-complete renunciation of the freedoms she experienced in the West. In time, she and her young family make the opposite migration and discover the difficulties, however paradoxical, inherent in living a free life in America.

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Book Excerpts

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Chapter One 
From America to Iran,
1964-65
 
I took my first steps amid the ancient ruins and oil fields of Solomon’s Mosque in Iran. It was the fall of 1964 when my family left the urban bustle of San Francisco and touched down in a tiny airport. The short runway was surrounded by barren hills dotted with towering flare stacks. I was barely six months old, and my mother, Laleh, remembers holding me close while my father and sister walked ahead of us to the terminal, a stone hut with two small windows and a corrugated metal roof.

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Reviews

Praise for My Name Is Iran

"At once insightful and symbolic, My Name Is Iran is an intimate, readable and revealing tale of a maverick daughter of modern Iran and a rare glimpse into the many layers of life in that nation and the aspirations and frustrations that have shaped its recent history.”—Vali Nasr, author of The Shia Revival: How Conflicts within Islam Will Shape the Future
 
“Here you will meet the Iran Davar Ardalan who long ago captured my imagination and encouraged  my  love for Iran.  Without fear, she reveals her place as the great-grand daughter of the Revolution, caught in its complexities. A product of dreamers and do-ers who are both unforgettable and amazing, her story is a broad tapestry on which East and West commingle.  This book is her gift to both cultures, and to you.”—Jacki Lyden, Senior Correspondent & Host, NPR and author of Daughter of the Queen of Sheba 
 
“This is a fascinating story about one woman’s remarkable life between the worlds of Iran and America.”—Ole D. Mjøs, Chairman of the Norwegian Nobel committee
 
“Fascinating, graceful, and threaded with historical insight, My Name is Iran offers a rich account of a life shaped by both Iranian tradition and Western individualism. Davar Ardalan tells a story that is at once an enthralling family epic, and a textured exploration of how the political, the religious, and the personal intersect across three generations of remarkable women.”—Azadeh Moaveni, author of Lipstick Jihad: A Memoir of Growing up Iranian in America and American in Iran
 
My Name Is Iran is a wonderfully told story of the author’s growth in understanding who she is—both American and Iranian.  It is a story for all Americans who maintain their heritage of origin, while becoming an American.”
—Juan Williams, Senior Correspondent NPR News

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About the Author

Davar Ardalan

Davar Ardalan is an award-winning producer for NPR’s Morning
Edition. In a three-part Morning Edition series produced with American RadioWorks that aired in February 2004, she traced her personal journey as
well as Iran’s struggle for a lawful society, twenty-five years after the 1979
Islamic Revolution.

Davar Ardalan

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Available Formats and Book Details

My Name Is Iran
A Memoir
Davar Ardalan

e-Book Agency

e-Book Agency
Henry Holt and Co.
July 2010
e-Book Agency
ISBN: 9781429923736
ISBN10: 1429923733
336 pages, Includes twenty-five black-and-white illustrations
$7.99

Trade Paperback

Trade Paperback
Henry Holt and Co.
Holt Paperbacks
January 2008
Trade Paperback
ISBN: 9780805087277
ISBN10: 0805087273
5 1/4 x 8 inches, 336 pages, Includes thirty black-and-white halftones, one straight line, and one map
$19.99
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From The Publisher

Henry Holt and Co.

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