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Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
I'm Writing You from Tehran

I'm Writing You from Tehran

A Granddaughter's Search for Her Family's Past and Their Country's Future

Delphine Minoui; Translated from the French by Emma Ramadan

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

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A journalist returns to her family home in Iran, witnessing enormous political, social, and personal change

Suffering the recent loss of her beloved grandfather and newly committed to a career in journalism, Delphine Minoui decided to visit Iran for the first time since the revolution—since she was four years old. It was 1998. She would stay for ten years.

In the course of that decade, great change comes to both writer and country, often at the same time. Minoui settles into daily life—getting to know her devout grandmother for the first time, making friends with local women who help her escape secret dance parties when the morality police arrive, figuring out how to be a journalist in a country that is suspicious of the press and Westerners. Once she finally starts to learn Persian, she begins to see Iran through her grandfather’s eyes. And so it is all the more crushing when the political situation falters. She is caught up in protests and interrogated by secret police; some friends disappear and others may be tracking her movements. She finds love, loses her press credentials, marries, and is separated from her husband by erupting global conflict. Through it all, her love for this place and its people deepens and she discovers in her family’s past a mission that will shape her entire future.

Framed as a letter to her grandfather and filled with disarming characters in momentous times, I’m Writing You from Tehran is an unforgettable, moving view into an often obscured part of … More…

A journalist returns to her family home in Iran, witnessing enormous political, social, and personal change

Suffering the recent loss of her beloved grandfather and newly committed to a career in journalism, Delphine Minoui decided to visit Iran for the first time since the revolution—since she was four years old. It was 1998. She would stay for ten years.

In the course of that decade, great change comes to both writer and country, often at the same time. Minoui settles into daily life—getting to know her devout grandmother for the first time, making friends with local women who help her escape secret dance parties when the morality police arrive, figuring out how to be a journalist in a country that is suspicious of the press and Westerners. Once she finally starts to learn Persian, she begins to see Iran through her grandfather’s eyes. And so it is all the more crushing when the political situation falters. She is caught up in protests and interrogated by secret police; some friends disappear and others may be tracking her movements. She finds love, loses her press credentials, marries, and is separated from her husband by erupting global conflict. Through it all, her love for this place and its people deepens and she discovers in her family’s past a mission that will shape her entire future.

Framed as a letter to her grandfather and filled with disarming characters in momentous times, I’m Writing You from Tehran is an unforgettable, moving view into an often obscured part of our world.

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Praise for I'm Writing You from Tehran

"Delphine Minoui's poignant new book is a love letter, by turns devastating and joyful, to a country and a people whose history is deeply intertwined with that of the West. Lucidly observed and passionately explored, the Iran of her telling will be a revelation as much to the expert as to the uninitiated."
—Gina B. Nahai, author of The Luminous Heart of Jonah S. and Moonlight on the Avenue of Faith

“Exceptional . . . Sensitivity, doubt, and heart each have their part here, in such a way that we ourselves enter into the reality of today’s Iran, a reality much richer—and more promising—than we imagine.”
—Jean-Claude Guillebaud, Hebdomadaire Paris

“With an inextinguishable curiosity and an independent spirit that neither love for the people nor fear of the regime can dampen she paints . . . an extraordinary gallery of portraits . . . A passionate plunge into a society that is diverse, surprising, dynamic, oppressed . . . The author listens with the subtlety of a writer and the precision of a reporter.”
—Philippe Gélie, Le Figaro Littéraire

"A contemporary and intimate vision of Iran.”
Livres Hebdo

"[Delphine Minoui] relates, with the scrupulousness of a notary clerk, the banal, the frightening, and even the marvelous . . . [She] measures everything. And these precise measurements taken over the course of all these years deliver an Iran full of the essence both of humanity and of the divine."
—Jean-Louis le Touzet, Libération

“A very beautiful book . .… More…














"Delphine Minoui's poignant new book is a love letter, by turns devastating and joyful, to a country and a people whose history is deeply intertwined with that of the West. Lucidly observed and passionately explored, the Iran of her telling will be a revelation as much to the expert as to the uninitiated."
—Gina B. Nahai, author of The Luminous Heart of Jonah S. and Moonlight on the Avenue of Faith

“Exceptional . . . Sensitivity, doubt, and heart each have their part here, in such a way that we ourselves enter into the reality of today’s Iran, a reality much richer—and more promising—than we imagine.”
—Jean-Claude Guillebaud, Hebdomadaire Paris

“With an inextinguishable curiosity and an independent spirit that neither love for the people nor fear of the regime can dampen she paints . . . an extraordinary gallery of portraits . . . A passionate plunge into a society that is diverse, surprising, dynamic, oppressed . . . The author listens with the subtlety of a writer and the precision of a reporter.”
—Philippe Gélie, Le Figaro Littéraire

"A contemporary and intimate vision of Iran.”
Livres Hebdo

"[Delphine Minoui] relates, with the scrupulousness of a notary clerk, the banal, the frightening, and even the marvelous . . . [She] measures everything. And these precise measurements taken over the course of all these years deliver an Iran full of the essence both of humanity and of the divine."
—Jean-Louis le Touzet, Libération

“A very beautiful book . . . [I'm Writing You from Tehran] crosses personal history with contemporary Iranian history.
—Xavier Frère, Républicain Lorrain

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Reviews from Goodreads

Delphine Minoui; Translated from the French by Emma Ramadan

Delphine Minoui, a recipient of the Albert Londres Prize for her reporting on Iraq and Iran, is a journalist and Middle East correspondent for Le Figaro. Born in Paris in 1974 to a French mother and an Iranian father, she now lives in Istanbul.

Emma Ramadan lives in Providence, Rhode Island, where she is the co-owner of Riffraff bookstore and bar. She is the recipient of a Fulbright scholarship, an NEA fellowship, and a PEN/Heim Translation Fund grant. Previous translations include the genderless novel Sphinx by Anne Garréta.

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

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