Title: The Alley of Love and Yellow Jasmines by Shohreh Aghdashloo
Published June 4, 2013; Harper
About the book: Shohreh has decided to leave Iran, her parents, and her husband, the painter Aydin, because of her outspoken political beliefs and her involvement in western-style theater as an aspiring actress. Aydin agrees with her decision to leave and breaks the news to his parents.
"But why are you doing this?" she kept asking.
"Believe me, Mom, it's best for everybody," he said.
She turned to me and asked, "Do you not love Aydin?"
I was stunned. "Yes, I do love him. That is why I am doing this. I don't want him to get into trouble over me." ....
At 4:30 a.m., February 28, 1979, I left Iran. Like thousands of other Iranians departing the country every day, I, too thought that I would return after the turmoil had ceased, possibly in only a few weeks. Surely I'd be home again. (ch. 19)My comments: This is quite a moving account of the life of the young actress from Tehran who left her home for Europe and eventually came to the U.S. after the fall of the last Shah of Iran and the beginning of the Islamic Republic.
In America, she eventually remarries and continues her career as an actress in Iranian plays written by her second husband, the playwright Houshang. She then breaks into the Hollywood circle, leading up to her nomination for an Academy Award as supporting actress in The House of Sand and Fog. She later received an Emmy Award.in 2009 for her supporting role as Saddam's wife in the film, House of Saddam..
We see Shohreh as a passionate young woman who takes risks for what she loves and succeeds through sheer will power and determination. This is an inspiring book for immigrants and for those who leave their countries during political upheavals. Granted Shohreh comes from a well-to-do family, but there are times in her self-exile when she struggled to support herself and her driving desire to continue acting.
She remembers her home country in the title of the book, which refers to the alley with yellow flowers near her home where she used to walk.
A well written and very detailed account of Shohreh's life before and after leaving Iran, her eventual success in the U.S., and her reunions with her mother and brothers.
About the author:
Shohreh Aghdashloo won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress for HBO’s House of Saddam and was the first Iranian actress ever to be nominated for an Academy Award, for her role in House of Sand and Fog. She has starred in the Fox series 24 and has been featured in a number of television shows and films. Born and raised in Tehran, she now lives in Los Angeles.
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Linked to Cym Lowell's Book Review Link-Up PartyThanks to the publsher and TLC Book Tours for a review galley of the book.