Long before the momentous Iranian Revolution of 1979, which placed the country under strict religious rule, Shusha Guppy grew up in a Persia delicately balanced between traditional Islamic society and the transforming forces of westernisation. In this eloquent memoir, she recreates the lost world of her childhood before the oil boom and the eventual overthrow of the Shah. Her magical tales about relatives and friends, music and drama, religious holidays and celebrations are interwoven with myth and legend, poetry and anecdote and provide a rare and optimistic portrayal of Iran; quite at odds with prevailing views of the country today. Through these glimpses of everyday life she makes subtle yet astute social and political observations at a significant time in Iran's history, when the country was caught between the oppressive but stable disciplines of the past and the unsettling freedoms of the future. This is an enlightening and moving testimony of a vanished world: a story as vibrant as Iran itself. "e;Guppy's memoir of life in Iran before the Ayatollahs is exquisite. It conveys a sense of the country and its customs, which reveal better than most documents, the nature of the crisis which Iran is still enduring."e; - William Shawcross, Sunday Times'One of the best books of the 20th centuryStands comparison with Out of Africa.' - John Train, author and co-founder of the Paris Review.
Memories of a Persian Childhood