Tech Center

Books By and About Persians
A Belvedere-Tiburon Library Subject Guide



Persian Myths
By Vesta Sarkhosh Curtis
Traditional tales and stories of ancient Iran.
299.1 Curtis 1993

Inside Iran: Women's Lives
By Jane Howard
Relying on anecdotes of individual women, Howard who lived in Iran from 1996-2000 as the wife of a U.N. diplomat, relates the paradoxes of women's lives.
305.420955 Howard 2002

Strange Times, My Dear: The PEN Anthology of Contemporary Iranian Literature
Edited by Nahid Mozaffari
Poetry editor: Ahmad Karimi Hakkak
A rich and varied collection of short stories, extracts from novels, and poetry that showcases the latest developments in Iranian literature, from which we have been virtually cut off since the Islamic Revolution of 1979.
891.5 Strange 2005

In the Rose Garden of the Martyrs: A Memoir of Iran

By Christopher De Bellaigue
Iran today, as Bellaigue colorfully describes it, is ideologically torn across generational fault lines, crowded with young people (the median age is 23 and a half) who have little knowledge of the Islamic revolution and are increasingly resentful of its legacy.
955.05 De Bellaigue 2005

The Iranians: Persia, Islam, and the Soul of a Nation
By Sandra Mackey
Explores Iran in the context of its old and complex civilization. How the "Persian soul" was developed and how its characteristics led to the fall of the Shah and to the rise of Islamic fundamentalism.
955.05 Mackey 1996

Persian Mirrors: The Elusive Face of Iran
By Elaine Sciolino
Elaine Sciolino was aboard the airplane that took Ayatollah Khomeini to Tehran in 1979 and has reported on Iran for the last 20 years. She was there for the Iranian Revolution, the hostage crisis, the Iran-Iraq War, the rise of President Khatami, and the riots of the summer of 1999. She provides insights on the public and private faces of Iran's people.
955.05 Sciolino 2000

Searching for Hassan
By Terence Ward
The Ward family returned to Iran in 1998; they were looking for a Hassan, a family friend who had played "Persian father" to the author and his brothers in the 1960's. Using the trip as his main thread, the author weaves history, culture, politics and religion into his story.
955.05 Ward 2002

Honeymoon in Purdah: An Iranian Journey
By Alison Wearing
Covered by a chador and pretending to be married, the author travels in Iran for five months to learn about the Iranian people.
955.05 Wearing 2000


The Persian Bride
By James Buchan.
A young English hippie, living in Iran falls in love with a 17 year old Iranian girl. Their life together and the fall of the Shah become intertwined.
Fiction Buchan

By James Clavell
Clavell effectively portrays the chilling and bewildering encounters when Westernized lifestyle clashes with harsh ancient traditions.
Fiction Clavell

House of Sand and Fog
By Andre Dubus III
An Iranian immigrant and his family are involved in a conflict over a house on the San Mateo coast with disastrous results.
Fiction Dubus

Pomegranate Soup
By Marsha Mehran
The Aminpour sisters escape the Iranian Revolution and make their way to a small Irish village where they open a café. Stark contrasts between the sisters' lives in Iran and Ireland and between the Irish and Persian cultures energize Mehran's tale.
Fiction Mehran


My Name is Iran
By Davar Ardalan
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.
Bio Ardalan

To See and See Again: A Life in Iran and America
By Tara Bahrampour
Bahrampour, the daughter of an Iranian father and an American mother, spent her formative years in Iran. In 1979, when she was 11, her family fled the country. She spent the next 16 years trying to become an American. On a return visit to Iran in 1994, she found a nation too complex to be described by political stereotypes.
Bio Bahrampour

Funny In Farsi: A Memoir Of Growing Up Iranian In America
By Firoozeh Dumas
The author and her family moved to the U.S. from Iran twice. Once in the 1970s and again in the 1980s. They met with a very different reception the 2nd time. Humorously told tale of the immigrant experience in America.
Bio Dumas

Daughter of Persia: A Woman's Journey from her Father's Harem Through the Islamic Revolution
By Sattareh Farman-Farmanian with Dona Munker
Born in 1921, into a powerful and aristocratic family, Farman's life spans nearly a century of tremendous change in Iran. She spent a sheltered childhood in her father's harem, studied at the University of Southern California, worked for 20 years as the founder and director of Teheran School of Social Work, and eventually lived in exile in the United States.
Bio Farman-Farmanian

Tales of Two Cities: A Persian Memoir

By Abbas Milani
In the 1960's, at the age of 15, the author was sent from his home in Tehran to the Bay Area, to be educated. Milani chronicles his education, politicization, return to Iran, disillusionment and eventual exile
Bio Milani

Lipstick Jihad: A Memoir of Growing Up Iranian in America And American in Iran
By Azadeh Moaveni
One of the strongest memoirs written about being trapped between two cultures. The author returns to Iran to find her authentic self. It is an excellent introduction to recent Iranian history.
Bio Moaveni

Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books
By Azar Nafisi
Nafisi resigned as a professor of literature at the University of Tehran, but she opened her home to 7 students who met weekly to study the great books of Western literature. As they discuss these books, and we learn about the their lives under Khomeni's regime, we get a rare inside look at Revolutionary Iran.
Bio Nafisi

The Shah's Last Ride
By William Shawcross
Shawcross presents a balanced view of the last days of the Shah of Iran, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.
Bio Pahlavi

created in 2006