Funny in Farsi by Firoozeh Dumas This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

A possessor of the undesirable trait of skepticism toward memoirs, and more specifically memoirs of people with whom I thought I could not relate, I was not looking forward to reading this story of a female Iranian-American. However, as I grudgingly began Firoozeh Dumas’ account of growing up in America, I realized that I did not have to be Iranian to relate to her story.

I did not even have to know that Farsi is the language spoken in Iran or where Iran is located. All I had to be able to do is laugh – a lot – and that is exactly what I did while reading Funny in Farsi.

Dumas tells the story of her family’s move to America. She chronicles the adventures of her romantic and rather impractical father, who falls in love with America’s clean restrooms, friendly people, and countless opportunities for success, and her mother, who does not understand that in order to communicate in English, a verb is necessary in any sentence.

Finally, she tells her own story of the culture shock of being born in Iran, raised in an Iranian household, and interacting with Americans, functioning as the liaison between her family and America. On top of all this, she falls in love with and marries a Frenchman (whose mother hates her).

In this clash of cultures, not only was my day made a little better by an assault of hilarious situations and caustic comedy but, between the guffaws and giggles, on a more profound level, I also found insight into the struggles of being thrust into a foreign land and forced to assimilate.

Whether you are looking for a simple tedium-annulling weekend read, or a look into the complex culture of Iranian-Americans, I strongly recommend Funny in Farsi. Enjoy and make sure you are sitting on the floor when you read it since you might fall out of your chair laughing.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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Zeesrock said...
Oct. 3, 2012 at 6:50 pm
Gotta get my hands on that book!
ael429 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jul. 26, 2011 at 3:45 pm
I read Funny in Farsi a year or two ago and I completely agree with your review. It's hilarious and actually believable. Great Review.
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