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Then They Came for Me: A Family's Story of Love, Captivity, and Survivalby Maziar Bahari and Aimee Molloy
Synopses & Reviews
SOON TO BE THE MAJOR MOTION PICTURE ROSEWATER, DIRECTED BY JON STEWART
When Maziar Bahari left London in June 2009 to cover Iran’s presidential election, he assured his pregnant fiancée, Paola, that he’d be back in just a few days, a week at most. Little did he know, as he kissed her good-bye, that he would spend the next three months in Iran’s most notorious prison, enduring brutal interrogation sessions at the hands of a man he knew only by his smell: Rosewater.
For the Bahari family, wars, coups, and revolutions are not distant concepts but intimate realities they have suffered for generations: Maziar’s father was imprisoned by the shah in the 1950s, and his sister by Ayatollah Khomeini in the 1980s. Alone in his cell at Evin Prison, fearing the worst, Maziar draws strength from his memories of the courage of his father and sister in the face of torture, and hears their voices speaking to him across the years. He dreams of being with Paola in London, and imagines all that she and his rambunctious, resilient eighty-four-year-old mother must be doing to campaign for his release. During the worst of his encounters with Rosewater, he silently repeats the names of his loved ones, calling on their strength and love to protect him and praying he will be released in time for the birth of his first child.
A riveting, heart-wrenching memoir, Then They Came for Me offers insight into the past seventy years of regime change in Iran, as well as the future of a country where the democratic impulses of the youth continually clash with a government that becomes more totalitarian with each passing day. An intimate and fascinating account of contemporary Iran, it is also the moving and wonderfully written story of one family’s extraordinary courage in the face of repression.
"In this book, Newsweek correspondent and documentary filmmaker Bahari effectively and systematically details his time in Evin Prison in Tehran, and his interrogation by members of the Revolutionary Guards. Bahari was jailed in June 2009 following the disputed re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. In poignant passages, Bahari draws parallels between his experiences and those of other family members. His father had been jailed under the Shah in the 1950s; his sister, Maryam, under Ayatollah Khomeini in the 1980s. Bahari relies on stories he heard from them, as well as their strength, to survive solitary confinement. He also describes his relationship with his fiancÃ©e, Paola, in London and the impending birth of their daughter. His great desire to reunite with them fuels his struggles in Iran, and gives this sympathetic read added urgency. (June)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
“An important and elegant book...a prison memoir enlarged into a family history.” The New Republic
“Clear and compelling...engaging and informative — a gripping tribute to human dedication and a cogent indictment of a corrupt regime.” Washington Independent Review of Books
“Then They Came for Me is not only a fascinating, human exploration into Bahari’s personal experience...it also provides insight into the shared experience of those affected by repressive governments everywhere.” Mother Jones
“A damning account....Then They Came For Me turns a lens not only on Iran’s surreal justice system but on the history and culture that helped produce it.” The Washington Post
“Then They Came for Me is a unique achievement. It is a story not just of political cruelty (a subject Bahari treats movingly), but also about the two poles of Iranian political culture, bent together in upheaval.” The Guardian (UK)
About the Author
Maziar Bahari is an award-winning journalist, documentary filmmaker, and human-rights activist. A correspondent for Newsweek from 1998 to 2010, he was born in Tehran, Iran, and immigrated to Canada in 1988 to pursue his studies in film and political science. Bahari’s documentaries have been broadcast on stations around the world, including HBO, the BBC, and the Discovery Channel. In 2009, he was named a finalist for Spain’s Prince of Asturias Award for Concord, often described as Spain’s Nobel Peace Prize; he was nominated by Desmond Tutu. He lives in London with his wife and daughter.
Aimee Molloy is the co-author of three previous books: Jantsen’s Gift with Pam Cope; This Moment on Earth with Senator John Kerry and Teresa Heinz Kerry; and For God and Country with James Yee. She also served as an editor of Laurie Strongin’s Saving Henry. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband.
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