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.
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.
[Praise for The Ayatollah Begs to Differ]:
'Captivating ... wise and witty ... essential reading' GQ
'Illuminating, critical and affectionate' Economist, Books of the Year
'Mr President, if you are serious about negotiating with Iran, you need ... the best book on contemporary Iranian culture and all of its complexities and contradictions. Don't go to Tehran without it' Washington Monthly, 'What Obama Should Read'
[Praise for The Ayatollah Begs to Differ]: Captivating ... wise and witty ... essential reading
Illuminating, critical and affectionate
Mr President, if you are serious about negotiating with Iran, you need ... the best book on contemporary Iranian culture and all of its complexities and contradictions. Don't go to Tehran without it