Funny in Farsi


Firoozeh Dumas (Persian: فیروزه دوما‎) (b. 1965 in Abadan, Iran) is an Iranian-American writer. She is the author of Funny in Farsi: A Memoir of Growing up Iranian in America, and Laughing without an Accent: Adventures of a Global Citizen, published by Random House.

Dumas[1] began to write and submit essays to obtain money to go toward college.

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. 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.

Dumas is a wife and mother. She is married to a Frenchman. 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. 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.[2]

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".[3]

"Funny in Farsi" was turned into a sitcom by ABC, directed by Barry Sonnenfeld, and starring Maz Jobrani.[4]

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