Once Upon a Time in Tehran by
Shirin Amani Azari is a beautiful and touching fictional memoir
inspired by true-life events.
Shirin is a twelve-year-old girl
living in Tehran with her beloved family. A war is raging between
Iran and Iraq in 1984 and Shirin’s father leaves to serve on the
front line of the war zone. She overcomes her worries about his
safety by listening to the wonderful tales her wise grandmother
tells her – folk tales of ancient Iran (Persia).
When her father returns and she
learns of the horrors that he has witnessed, Shirin is confused why
her people and those of Iraq would engage in these atrocities. She
longs for normalcy and a sense of security; she wants her life back
as it once was.
Instead, her father decides they must
depart Iran. Leaving behind her grandparents and extended family,
Shirin is overcome with fears for their safety and of her family’s
Once Upon a Time in Tehran is
a fictionalized memoir describing life in Tehran during the war
between Iran and Iraq. The longing for a normal life in an
unfamiliar world is interwoven with cultural insights, celebrations,
family bonds and the facts of living in a post-revolution Iran.
Specific to a
place and time, yet universal in its themes, Once Upon a time in
Tehran is a moving drama with mass appeal.