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Honeymoon in Tehran: Two Years of Love and Danger in Iranby Azadeh Moaveni
Synopses & Reviews
Both a love story and a reporters first draft of history, Honeymoon in Tehran is a stirring, trenchant, and deeply personal chronicle of two years in the maelstrom of Iranian life.
In 2005, Azadeh Moaveni, longtime Middle East correspondent for Time magazine, returns to Iran to cover the rise of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. As she documents the firebrand leaders troublesome entry onto the world stage, Moaveni richly portrays a society too often caricatured as the heartland of militant Islam. Living and working in Tehran, she finds a nation that openly yearns for freedom and contact with the West, but whose economic grievances and nationalist spirit find a temporary outlet in Ahmadinejads strident pronouncements. Mingling with underground musicians, race car drivers, young radicals, and scholars, she explores the cultural identity crisis and class frustration that pits Irans next generation against the Islamic system.
And then the unexpected happens: Azadeh falls in love with a young Iranian man and decides to get married and start a family in Tehran. Suddenly, she finds herself navigating an altogether different side of Iranian life. Preparing to be wed by a mullah, she sits in on a government marriage prep class where young couples are instructed to enjoy sex. She visits Tehrans bridal bazaar and finds that the Iranian wedding has become an outrageously lavish-though often still gender-segregated-production. When she becomes pregnant, she must prepare to give birth in an Iranian hospital, at the same time observing her friends struggles with their young children, who must learn to say one thing at home and another at school.
Despite her busy schedule as a wife and mother, Azadeh continues to report for Time on Irans nuclear standoff with the West and Iranians dissatisfaction with Ahmadinejads heavy-handed rule. But as women are arrested on the street for “immodest dress” and the authorities unleash a campaign of intimidation against journalists, the countrys dark side reemerges. This fundamentalist turn, along with the chilling presence of “Mr. X,” the government agent assigned to mind her every step, forces Azadeh to make the hard decision that her familys future lies outside Iran.
Powerful and poignant, fascinating and humorous Honeymoon in Tehran is the harrowing story of a young womans tenuous life in a country she thought she could change.
"In her new memoir, American-born journalist Moaveni (Lipstick Jihad) returns to Tehran in 2005 to cover Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's election for Time magazine, hoping to make the city her permanent home. Her plans are complicated by the standoff with the U.S. over Iran's nuclear program, as well as several unexpected turns in her life. She falls in love, moves in with her boyfriend, becomes pregnant, gets married — in that order — in a country that has no word for 'boyfriend' and no qualms about brutally beating unmarried pregnant women. Through her own experience, Moaveni reports on the growing apathy of the people of Iran, a society burdened by staggering inflation and tensions between religion, political oppression and secular life, the latter ever more enticing through ubiquitous, illegal satellite television. Gradually, the idealism and religious faith that characterized Moaveni's younger years wane. With the birth of her son, her misgivings come to a head, compounded by the spying, threats and intimidation she experienced at the hands of the Ministry of Intelligence. Moaveni, who now lives in London with her family, has penned a story of coming-of-age in two cultures with a keen eye and a measured tone." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Powerful and poignant, "Honeymoon in Tehran" is a stirring, trenchant, and deeply personal chronicle of two years in the maelstrom of Iranian life.
About the Author
Azadeh Moaveni is the author of Lipstick Jihad and the co-author, with Nobel Peace Prize laureate Shirin Ebadi, of Iran Awakening. She has lived and reported throughout the Middle East, and speaks both Farsi and Arabic fluently. As one of the few American correspondents allowed to work continuously in Iran since 1999, she has reported widely on youth culture, women's rights, and Islamic reform for Time, The New York Times Book Review, The Washington Post, NPR, and the Los Angeles Times. Currently a Time magazine contributing writer on Iran and the Middle East, she lives with her husband and son in London.
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