Rooftops of Tehran, Mahbod Seraji

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Come along as Mahbod Seraji leads us on a familiar coming-of-age journey in a distant land threatened with revolution. At times, humorous, at others, heart-wrenching. Open your experience to the universal truths of Middle Eastern culture and see the world–your world–a little differently ~ You’re bound to recognize your brother, your parents, your friend in those once nameless faces and consider ROOFTOP’s poignant message of love, courage, grief, and hope.

ROOFTOPS OF TEHRAN Book Description from Mahbod’s Website:
This stunning literary debut paints a vivid portrait of growing up, discovering love, and awakening to the reality of life in a nation on the verge of revolution in the 1970s.  Rooftops of Tehran opens in a middle-class neighborhood in Iran’s sprawling capital city. The rooftop of the narrator’s house – the tallest in their alley – is the perfect spot for sleeping on hot summer nights. It’s also the perfect location for stargazing, sneaking cigarettes, talking about American movies, and confiding, analyzing and agonizing through the typical trials of being a seventeen year-old boy, including being in love. This is the spot from which the narrator quietly watches his secret love, his beautiful next door neighbor Zari, promised since birth to his friend and mentor, nicknamed Doctor, a man adored and respected by the whole neighborhood.  It is from this high perch that the narrator witnesses the SAVAK’s brutal hunt and arrest of Doctor and realizes the oppressiveness of the regime under which he resides.  And the rooftop is where the narrator and Zari ultimately find quiet refuge in each other after the shock of Doctor’s senseless faith ripples through their close-knit community and brings about terrible, unexpected repercussions. With the candor only an Iranian can offer, Seraji’s narrative bares the enduring struggle between beauty and brutality infused into the centuries-old Persian culture while reaffirming the human experiences we all share: contentment, terror, love, helplessness, ferocity, and hope.

“On the Plane with Annette Bening” Blog Excerpt (I’m glad I got to read the rest of it after speaking with Mahbod–don’t miss the “Continue Reading” message at the bottom):
…Wow!  Annette Bening in Iran, I thought to myself.  I looked up and suddenly noticed a cheerful, beautiful, blond lady walking toward the snack bar, happy, carefree and relaxed, talking to the person who was walking along side of her, smiling, moving her arms—great energy for someone who like me must have woken up in the wee hours of the morning to make the damn flight!  Wow, the Academy Award wining Annette Bening and Alfre Woodard, one of the most underrated actors of all time!  Both their pictures were in the paper in front of me.  The ladies checked out the meager snack bar counter, and settled for a cup of coffee.  I have to admit, I felt a little giddy being in the same room with an Oscar winning actor, but I decided to rise above my giddiness and pretend like I hadn’t noticed her.  I buried my head back in the paper.  For more

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  • Deadline: June 30th, 2009 ~ midnight, EDT

~ “Thanks” to Natalie Brown for her song You Gotta Believe from the Podsafe Music Network ~

There Are 16 Responses So Far. »

  1. This book looks amazing! I love learning about other cultures.

  2. I know very little about Iran, so I would love to read this book!

  3. The Persian culture would be fascinating. This book would be interesting to read and learn from. Many thanks, Cindi

  4. I really enjoyed this interview. I sounds like a truly great book. I can’t wait to check it out. I’ll have to hit the library for because if I buy another book my husband will disown me. I have a book shelf full of good reads that I fully intend to read, but since I can’t pass up a good book my book shelf is about ready to topple over. Thanks for the all of the great reading suggestions and interviews. It’s always interesting to hear the back story of a book. Makes it all the more personal. Please enter my in your book drawings. As I said I LOVE a great book. Thank you.

  5. We lived in Tehran from 1975 to 1977. My husband was in the Army and stationed there. My youngest daughter was born there. I enjoy reading any book set there.

  6. This fascinating novel is intriguing and wonderful. The culture and the story is compelling and reading this amazing book would be an experience that would be unforgettable.

  7. This book is already on my TRB list, so it would be quite an honor to win a copy. I have been reading all of the books I can about the Middle East lately. I think it’s important for us to learn all we can about that part of the world and try to understand why the people of certain cultures think as they do.

  8. *TBR, not TRB! lol

  9. This tragic story set during a brutal regime would touch my heart and soul. Growing up during this difficult time and having these normal hopes and dreams is wonderful to read about. This book is definitely one that is memorable and special. Thanks for featuring this great story.

  10. I think the different culture being explored in this book is what has piqued my interest! I love learning about different cultures.


  11. I’m an email subscriber!


  12. This sounds very interesting about the Persian culture. I have a Persian friend who tells me a lot about what happened. During that time his father was arrested and imprisoned. My friend fled to America and has been here ever since.


    janetfaye (at) gmail (dot) com

  13. I would love to read this. Thanks!

  14. Carrie:

    Once again, a wonderful interview. I am very much looking forward to reading this book. Thank you for continuing to find books on a variety of topics. I would never have sought this book out if it were not for your interview 🙂
    And again… keep up the good work, we appreciate it.

  15. Oooo… thanks for highlighting this book! I’ll have to add it to my every-growing “stack”!

  16. I read the interview-I know so little about this country and its culture I’d love to read this

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