Review of Funny in Farsi by Firoozeh Dumas

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While reading the story, I developed a practice of recording the names of characters listed on the front cover in order to keep track of their identities. However, as I continued reading, there were numerous names that became too difficult to remember or keep up with. This clearly demonstrated the large size of the family and the author’s deep affection for them. The book focuses solely on tales about her father, other relatives, and Iranian culture. These stories convey a strong sense of unity and pride in heritage. Without a doubt, this memoir revolves around the central theme of strength and interconnectedness that accompanies being part of a family.

Not only does it involve her, but also her father, husband, siblings, uncles, aunts, and cousins. This illustrates her ongoing strong bond with family and heritage, for which her father is renowned. Without her diverse family and background, she would lack personal narratives or sense of self since they are a substantial part of who she – as well as everyone else – is and how they came to exist. Despite being born in the US myself, my family migrated from Cuba; undoubtedly many aspects like language barriers, financial stresses, social status, physical appearance, discrimination and the juggling of cultural roots within a new American society are common experiences shared by immigrants regardless of their country of origin.

Like Dumas, my mother also faced similar challenges as she immigrated from Cuba at the age of six and grew up in a new country. The experiences of integrating different cultures and races in Florida that Dumas and her family went through are relatable to me as I come from an immigrant family and reside in an ethnically diverse area.

The novel delves into a range of themes, including migrant experiences, adolescence, social status, the American Dream, sexism, racism, beauty, religious tension, stereotyping, and other universal issues faced in contemporary society. Through the perspective of a young Iranian immigrant girl transitioning into adulthood, we witness a coming-of-age memoir that blends humor with insightful commentary.

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Review of Funny in Farsi by Firoozeh Dumas. (2018, Feb 04). Retrieved from

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