Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Funny in Farsi Review #AsianLitBingo

The second book I decided to read, which fulfills the Non-Fiction by an Asian Author category, was Funny in Farsi by Firoozeh Dumas. This book continued with my reading theme of Southeast Asians in America, following the experiences of Firoozeh (who was born and raised in Iran) and her family in America. I was especially interested in reading this book because my cousin married in to a half Iranian-American family (the other half is Austrian) and I have always wondered what it would be like to be Iranian in America (Note: I recognize that every person's experiences are different based on various factors, but I still thought this book would be a good insight).

The first point that struck me as interesting was the fact that Ms. Dumas compares and contrasts the reception her family received in America both before and after the Iranian Civil War (and the hostage situation in Tehran). This look at how citizens' reactions are influenced by major events, not unlike the wave of negative reactions we are seeing towards Middle Eastern Refugees today, was eye opening. I also really liked the scope of the topics that Ms. Dumas covered as she explored her family's experiences. The topics ranged from family dynamics to politics to pop culture, which made this book very engaging!

There were several parts of this book that I wasn't very fond of. First, I didn't like the way each chapter jumped around different times in the authors life. I'm sure there was a reason that she wrote the chapters this way but it felt disjointed and, ultimately, made the book a little confusing to read at times. I also did not like the tone that the author used when talking about her parents. For the most part, it read as mocking and disrespectful, especially towards her father at times.

In the end, I really liked this book. I do think there were some issues with the format and tone of the book though. The issues caused me to give this book 4 out of 5 stars.

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