Home Is a Stranger

Amberjack. Mar. 2020. 224p. ISBN 9781948705608. $24.99. MEMOIR
In 1979, at the height of the Iranian revolution, seven-year-old Foroutan (The Girl from the Garden) fled Iran with her parents and resettled in Los Angeles, leaving behind several family members in Iran. Decades later, after ending an abusive relationship and enduring a period of grief following the death of her father, Foroutan journeyed back to her homeland. Her account of that time is primarily concerned with issues of identity, as she struggles to balance Iran’s strict female modesty codes with the more lax, Americanized standards with which she was raised, wondering where she truly belongs. Foroutan vividly describes her travels in Iran, its people, and her quest for self-discovery, frequently juxtaposing life in Iran with similar situations in the United States, showcasing the duality of her experiences. Following the September 11 attacks, Foroutan returned to America to address a health concern and had to reconcile the changes within herself.
VERDICT An impressive, richly told account of an immigrant’s journey. Recommended for all memoir enthusiasts.

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