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 blown away by the power of words to take me to a place I hardly knew and make me feel as if I’d lived there all my life. It was an experience that never left me. Much later, I began to write stories of my own and quickly realized that writing was more satisfying than anything else I’d ever done. I’d start early in the evening and pause at dawn, exhausted, elated and barely aware that the night had passed.
In writing Rooftops of Tehran, I wanted to acquaint 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 news media as “the enemy,” I chose to tell a story about friendship and humor, love and hope, universal experiences valued by people in all times and places.