Rummanah Aasi
    I have always been fascinated with the history and culture of Iran. I've learned about the Islamic Revolution during my World Civilizations class and did a whole project on it. I absolutely loved the graphic novel series called Persepolis I and II by Marjane Satrapi, which explored the revolution through the author's experiences. So when I came across a memoir about Iran, I was very excited to read it. Not only did I get a bit more information about the tumultuous relationship between Iran and the U.S., but also a terrifying account of being in prison for a crime one has not committed. 

Description: My Prison, My Home is a memoir by Halah Isfandiyari, who is the founding director of the Woodrow Wilson Center's Middle East Program. The author recounts her unnecessary imprisonment in Tehran's notorious Evin Prison. Esfandiari, an Iranian-American scholar,  was incarcerated in solitary confinement on bizarre, paranoid charges of aiding the American government in plotting to overthrow the Islamic Republic of Iran. While visiting her mother in Tehran during the holidays, she was robbed in a taxi, then detained in her mother's home for months before being hauled off to prison. Initially, she thought it was a simple robbery, but then it became as if she was on a watch list of the fearsome Ministry of Intelligence, who grilled her about seemingly irrelevant information. The author recounts her trial and her release.

Review: I thought this memoir was interesting. It seems that many of the books that I've read about Iranian-Americans, the authors have immigrated from Iran and haven't gone back after the Islamic Revolution. I was curious as to how this author would describe her trip back home for a visit since she currently lives in the U.S. That being said, I was more interested and curious about the author's childhood and upbringing than her trial. Although her trial was scary to read, it did seem tedious and could have been trimmed down a bit more. The author was treated fairly well considering the infamous reputation of the Evin prison. I also thought the transition between the author's trial and the history of Iran's politics could have been a bit smoother. The history, goes into detail about from the 1960s to the Islamic Revolution, but skims over from the 1980s to the present. I would have liked it if the author spent more time talking about today's strained relationship between Iran and the U.S. since that is what her trial was all about. 

Rating: 3 stars

Words of Caution: None. I do think this book is more geared towards adults than teens.

If you like this book, try: Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi
1 Response
  1. Safoora Says:

    I really enjoyed the film Persepolis, I didn't realize it was based on the graphic novels! Another good read about the Islamic Revolution is "A Beginner's Guide to Acting English" by Shappi Khorsandi. It's a bit more light-hearted, so I think it may be great to read after reading someting like "One Harrowing Trip." Thanks for the review, Rummanah, I'll be checking this book out!


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