Funny in Farsi

  • by Firoozeh Dumas
  • Narrated by Firoozeh Dumas
  • 5 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

In 1972, when she was seven, Firoozeh Dumas and her family moved from Iran to Southern California, arriving with no firsthand knowledge of this country beyond her father's glowing memories of his graduate school years here.In a series of deftly drawn scenes Funny in Farsi chronicles the American journey of Dumas' wonderfully engaging family: her engineer father, a sweetly quixotic dreamer who first sought riches on Bowling for Dollars and in Las Vegas; her elegant mother, who never fully mastered English (nor cared to); her uncle, who combated the effects of American fast food with an army of miraculous American weight-loss gadgets; and Firoozeh herself, who as a girl changed her name to Julie, and who encountered a second wave of culture shock when she met and married a Frenchman, becoming part of a one-couple melting pot. An unforgettable story of identity, discovery, and the power of family love, Funny in Farsi will leave us all laughing without an accent.

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What the Critics Say



Audie Award Finalist, Biography/Memoir, 2005
Thurber Prize Finalist, 2005
"Often hilarious, always interesting....Like the movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding, this book describes with humor the intersection and overlapping of two cultures." (The Providence Journal)
"A humorous and introspective chronicle of a life filled with love, of family, country, and heritage." (Jimmy Carter)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

The melting pot, next generation

I am on a quest to read memoirs, and my search through Audible turned up this one, which I had not heard of before, but based on the blurb, thought it would be interesting. I met my first Persian in 1965, a fellow student at the University of Wisconsin, and when he told me he was Persian, I didn't know where it was, or what it meant. He was a sweet, gentle person, and while I know it was wrong of me to judge an entire nation by this one encounter, his charm certainly disposed me kindly towards his country. Now 40+ years later, I have met my second Persian, and based on my experience listening to this memoir, I am happy to say my first impression was correct. Firoozeh's voice and story make me feel like I know her, and share her experience. And I see in her story an updated version of what it must have been like for my own grandparents to come here from a foreign land, and try to make their way in the cauldron of America.

While her humor is often not "laugh out loud" it was "funny" in the sense of irony, observation of the misunderstandings that take place between people of different origins. And frankly, one of the best things about it was to remind me that people, underneath the cloaks of different names and accents, are actually the same. Laughter is a great reminder of that universal connection.
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- Jerry

Down to Earth and Far Out Too

This book was really entertaining and interesting. I was expecting either an "American Dream Come True" or "Shattered American Dream" account, but this was neither. It was actually a very down to earth account of a more than slightly strange situation.

The author's story meanders through normal situations like awful babysitting jobs to completely crazy situations like being stuck in the middle of an Anti-Shah demonstration in Washington D.C.. She's sincere as she details both the good and bad experieces she and her family experienced here.

I didn't think the reader had the right voice for this book - but she was clear and distinct. And if you're looking for an interesting book on life in America through an Immigrant's eyes that won't leave you completely despondant - this is a great choice.

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- Cathy Dopp

Book Details

  • Release Date: 03-24-2004
  • Publisher: Audible Studios