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In Conversation at the Commonwealth Club of California

Aug.26.2009

NPR commentator, bestselling author of Funny in Farsi: A Memoir of Growing Up Iranian in America, and the first American writer of Middle Eastern heritage ever to be nominated for the prestigious James Thurber Prize for American Humor, Firoozeh Dumas, will share her her personal reflections and stories of growing up as a young Iranian in America. She will also explore the often-humorous East-West cross-cultural mishaps that frequently happen to us all in everyday life. Despite the language barriers, the culture shock, and the blending of traditions with her French husband, Dumas has learned that many of our commonalities with one another often outweigh our perceived differences.

After years of growing up listening to her father recount the colorful stories of his life, Dumas, who had no prior writing experience, decided to write her stories as a gift to her children. Funny in Farsi was published in 2003. By 2004 it had made its way onto the San Francisco Chronicle and LA Times bestseller lists and was a finalist for the PEN/USA award. It 2005, it was a finalist for an Audie Award for best audio book.

Many of Dumas’ pieces have been published in the NY Times, LA Times, SF Chronicle Magazine, and Lifetime Magazine. She is a graduate of UC Berkeley and currently resides in Palo Alto with her husband and three children.

Underwriter: The Bernard Osher Foundation.

Firoozeh's Latest Blogs

Dec.20.2007 - 11:11 am
I'm a big fan of brevity and simplicity, the less is more approach. I love reading something that is seemingly simple but then discovering the hidden layer of meaning. Reading is...
Continue Reading »

Comments from Firoozeh

Jan.28.2008 - 6:03 pm
In response to: Hello Red Room Readers!
Today is the day that Patry Francis' book, THE LIAR'S DIARY, comes out in paperback. People always ask me how I find...
Jan.10.2008 - 4:20 pm
In response to: When A Candidate Cries
Hi Victoria, I don't understand how anybody can run for office. Politics has become so mean-spirited. I would just be...
Dec.20.2007 - 9:49 am
In response to: Attached at the Roots
I love your humility. North Oakland is lucky to have you. Best, Firoozeh Dumas
Dec.19.2007 - 7:12 pm
In response to: Hello Red Room Readers!
Thomas, Tell me the truth...whose blog is the best? Can you name names? Best, Firoozeh 

Published Reviews

Funny in Farsi: A Memoir of Growing Up Iranian in America
Published by Los Angeles Times
"What’s charming beyond the humor of this memoir is that it remains affectionate even in the weakest, most tenuous moments for the culture. It’s the brilliance of true...