I discovered the gift of reading when I was ten years old, sitting on my own rooftop in Tehran and losing myself in a Farsi translation of Jack London’s White Fang. I was mesmerized by the power of London's words, and stunned by his gift to tell his tale in such a compelling, visual way. Reading his book was an experience that never left me. Years later, I began to write stories of my own, and quickly realized that writing was more gratifying to me than anything else I had ever done. I’d start in the early hours of the evening and stop at dawn, exhausted, elated and barely aware that the night had passed.
In writing Rooftops of Tehran, I wanted to acquaint the readers with Iran, and bring to life a small part of the centuries-old Persian culture. At a time when the country of my birth is often portrayed in the media as “the enemy,” I chose to tell a story of friendship and humor, love and hope—universal experiences treasured by people everywhere; I aimed to show a side of Iran that’s often concealed from the view—its warm, funny, generous people.
Perhaps as you read Rooftops of Tehran, as you meet Pasha’s friends Ahmed, Faheemeh, Doctor, Iraj and Zari, as you accompany Pasha down the alleys of his neighborhood and experience the injustice and tyranny of the regime that rules his country, or as you spend a night on his rooftop, peek into his neighbor’s window and fall in love with the girl next door, you’ll understand my affection for Iran and its people. And you will see why the flame of hope for this ancient land burns so fiercely in my heart, and in the hearts of so many of my compatriots at home and abroad.
Since I first lost myself in White Fang so many years ago, I’ve read hundreds of books, and often wished afterward that I could share my thoughts and feelings directly with the author. So I invite you to contact me. If you’d like to express a comment about Rooftops of Tehran, or if your book club would like to arrange a chat via speakerphone, just send a note via email. I’d be delighted to discuss my novel and share my thoughts.