Funny in Farsi


Firoozeh Dumas (Persian: فیروزه دوما‎)[1] (born 1965 in Abadan, Iran) is an Iranian writer who writes in English. She is the author of the memoirs Funny in Farsi: A Memoir of Growing up Iranian in America (2003) and Laughing without an Accent: Adventures of a Global Citizen (2008), and the semi-autobiographical novel It Ain't so Awful, Falafel (2016).

Early life

At the age of seven, Dumas and her family moved to Whittier, California. She later moved back to Iran and lived in Tehran and Ahvaz. However, she once again immigrated to the United States; first to Whittier, then to Newport Beach, California. She began to write and submit essays to obtain money to go toward college.

Kazem, her father, dominates many of her stories throughout her memoir Funny in Farsi: A Memoir of Growing Up Iranian in America. She takes pride in her Iranian heritage, but at the same time, mocks her dad's fascination with "freebies" at Costco and television shows like Bowling for Dollars. Growing up, Dumas struggled to mix with her American classmates, who knew nothing about Iran. She also retells firsthand experiences of prejudice and racism from being Iranian in America during the Iranian Revolution. However, throughout hardships, she emphasizes the significance of family strength and love in her life.


Since the publication of Funny in Farsi, her first book, she has been active on the lecture circuit, speaking at universities, conferences, high schools, middle schools, and other venues.

Her other work has been published in the New York Times, L.A. Times, Wall Street Journal, Good Housekeeping, Gourmet Magazine, San Francisco Chronicle, among others. She has also been a commentator for National Public Radio, and a panelist on "Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me".[2]

An attempt was made to adapt Funny in Farsi as a television sitcom by ABC in 2014. A pilot episode, directed by Barry Sonnenfeld and starring Maz Jobrani, was filmed but never aired.

In July 31, 2014, through a message and pointing to some reasons, she asked her readers who lived in Iran, to purchase the English version of her books. [3]

Awards and honors

As a result of Funny in Farsi's success, Firoozeh Dumas has been nominated for many awards, including the Thurber Prize for American Humor. Not only was she the first Iranian author to be nominated, she was also the first author from Asia to hold such an honor. She lost to Jon Stewart. She was also nominated for an Audie for best audio-book, losing to Bob Dylan. She was also nominated for PEN/USA Award in Creative Nonfiction. She received the Spirit of America Award in 2008 from the National Council of Social Studies. Former recipients of this award include Jimmy Carter, Rosa Parks, and Mr. Rogers.[4]

  1. ^ According to the Persian spelling دوما, her surname is pronounced the French way, with a silent 's'.
  2. ^ Barclay
  3. ^ "Tell my readers in Iran, not to buy my books!". Retrieved 2016-09-16. 
  4. ^ Barclay
  • Dumas, Firoozeh, Funny in Farsi, Random House, New York, 2003.
  • Barclay, Steven, "Firoozeh Dumas", Steven Barclay Agency, 2014.[1]
  • Andreeva, Nellie, "Sonnenfeld takes helm of "Farsi" comedy pilot", Reuters, November 30, 2009.
Further reading
  • Hutner, Gordon (2015). Immigrant voices Volume II. New York: New American Library. ISBN 9780698182721. Retrieved 25 March 2017. 
External links
  • Official website
  • Firoozeh Dumas at Levantine Centre
  • [2]
  • [3]

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