Hooman Majd

The Ministry of Guidance Invites You to Not Stay
  • The Ministry of Guidance Invites You to Not Stay

  • What happens when you move to Iran, heartland of the 'Axis of Evil', with your family in tow? - asks Hooman Majd, author of the acclaimed The Ayatollah Begs to Differ and The Ayatollah's Democracy

    "Welcome to Iran," he said. "This isn't Switzerland." We have an idea of the texture of life in Paris or Rome, but what is the texture of life like in Tehran? How do you get a driving license? Or secure an account with a discreet and reputable liquor dealer? And how on earth do you explain to an official that your son was indeed born just a month after your marriage? In The Ministry of Guidance Invites You to Not Stay, Hooman Majd introduces us to the daily delights and challenges of life in the so-called axis of evil. His funny, wry account of daily life is a mixture of extreme driving, intense sociability, yellow-tinged sheep's yoghurt and truly good Cuban cigars, interspersed with challenges from the religious police, stealthy internet use and polite yet concerning interrogations inside government ministries. At parties he both hears stories from friends of life in Evin prison after the Green Revolution and witnesses heady Western-style nihilism. From the smoggy streets of Tehran to the beautiful cities and mountains around it, this is a warm and revealing account of life in reverse-exile.

    'Fascinating' - Independent

    'A sympathetic and nuanced picture of a complex society too often misinterpreted by the outside world' - Telegraph

    Hooman Majd was born in Tehran, Iran in 1957 and has lived in the US since 1979. He has written for numerous publications including The New Yorker, the New York Times and the Financial Times. His previous books are the New York Times bestseller The Ayatollah Begs to Differ and The Ayatollahs' Democracy. He moved to Tehran with his American wife and baby son.

HOOMAN MAJD was born in Tehran, Iran in 1957, and lived abroad from infancy with his family who were in the diplomatic service. He attended boarding school in England and college in the United States, and stayed in the U.S. after the Islamic Revolution of 1979. Majd had a long career in the entertainment business before devoting himself to writing and journalism full-time. He worked at Island Records and Polygram Records for many years, with a diverse group of artists, and was head of film and music at Palm Pictures, where he produced The Cup and James Toback's Black and White. He now writes for GQ, Newsweek, The New York Times and many others, and has been a regular contributor to The Huffington Post from its inception. He lives in New York City and travels regularly back to Iran. His first book, The Ayatollah Begs to Differ, was published in 2008.