Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Journey from the Land of No: A Girlhood Caught in Revolutionary Iran” as Want to Read:
Journey from the Land of No: A Girlhood Caught in Revolutionary Iran
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Journey from the Land of No: A Girlhood Caught in Revolutionary Iran

3.71  ·  Rating Details ·  796 Ratings  ·  97 Reviews
From the Hardcover

“We stormed every classroom, inscribed our slogans on the blackboard . . . Never had mayhem brought more peace. All our lives we had been taught the virtues of behaving, and now we were discovering the importance of misbehaving. Too much fear had tainted our days. Too many afternoons had passed in silence, listening to a fanatic’s diatribes. We were rebel
...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published June 28th 2005 by Three Rivers Press (first published August 10th 2004)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Journey from the Land of No, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Journey from the Land of No

The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne FrankThe Glass Castle by Jeannette WallsI Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya AngelouEat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth GilbertPersepolis by Marjane Satrapi
Memoirs by Women
494th out of 1,767 books — 2,121 voters
Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar NafisiNot Without My Daughter by Betty MahmoodyRooftops of Tehran by Mahbod SerajiRubaiyat of Omar Khayyam by Omar KhayyámThe Epic of Gilgamesh by Anonymous
Iran and Iraq, Ancient and Modern
62nd out of 288 books — 116 voters


More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,650)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Carole
Mar 12, 2013 Carole rated it it was amazing
Roya Hakakian is a producer for CBS' "60 Minutes". She is an Iranian Jew who emigrated from Iran with her family several years after the Ayatollah Khomeini came into power. This book is a memoir of her growing up years from about age 9 to age 18 in Tehran.

Hakakian does an amazing job of writing a coming-of-age story layered with the story of the Islamic Revolution in Iran. With intense detail, she describes the restrictions placed on her as a woman and as a Jew.

She is a voracious reader and des
...more
Amene
Apr 07, 2013 Amene rated it liked it
Shelves: 2013
این کتاب در جاهایی و جنبه های با اونچه از ایران اون زمان می دونیم متفاوته چون که نویسنده در عین حال که در ایران قبل از انقلاب و آزادی های آن دوره بهره مند بوده ولی بهرحال در فضایی با سنت های رایج و پیچیده ی یهودی زندگی می کرده هرچند مسالمت آمیز اما در هر حال جامعه ی یهودی و ایرانی در اون دوره رو به تصویر می کشه هرچند تصویرش با تصویری که پدر مادرهای مسلمان ما دارند چندان متفاوت نیست. در نقل تاریخ و دوره ی انقلاب شعر زدگی نسبتا کمتره ولی خوب همون نگاه های رایج غربی هم تا حدی دیده می شه. هرچند که د ...more
Owlseyes
Feb 23, 2015 Owlseyes marked it as to-read

Her ancestry may be traced back to Iranian Jews. She’s living in the east coast of the USA.

It seems that 3 motives made Roya to write this book, according to what she said in a meeting with Persian writers; most of them living in foreign lands.

(1) She got offended when someone asked her: “are there Jews in Iran?”. She argued that Jews presence in Iran “predates “the Muslims'.

(2) She had to say something about women’s situation in Iran; apparently with “no-voice…and subdued”; Roya thinks “that
...more
Dawn Rogers Kroll
May 07, 2013 Dawn Rogers Kroll rated it it was amazing
Insightful ... a wonderful example of what life was like for a young person (especially a girl) who was present in Iran/Tehran at the time of the Shah's departure and Khomeini's new rule.
Chip
Aug 03, 2009 Chip rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Well written, understated and powerful... a rare memoir that transcends to the level of literature. In fact, "Journey" reminds me of "Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man." If you're looking for a diatribe or hate-fest, don't bother with this book - the author clearly loves the memory of her home and homeland, and carefully balances all the positive things that Tehran was with the bleak reality that Tehran has become. Like Ms. Hakakian and the protesters currently struggling for democracy in Ir ...more
Ron
Apr 09, 2012 Ron rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
The somber cover, the title, and the reference to prison abuses at the opening of this book are a little misleading. This memoir is not especially dark or grim, and the journey it recounts is an internal one, more from the land of "yes" than "no." It captures that particular youthful optimism that buoys up children and adolescents in the worst of times. And the Islamic revolution in Iran becomes the worst of times for the community of 100,000 Jews living in Tehran in the late 1970s, as the monar ...more
Tinea
Aug 14, 2012 Tinea rated it liked it
Recommended to Tinea by: Alex Shams
Shelves: place, auto-biography
There was a moment halfway through where Hakakian's descriptive power swept like a torrent-- a beautiful to watch, mesmerizing flow-- over the pages and I sat in one place and finished the book. Until that point I was pretty doubtful: The cliched title and the affectation of childhood innocence the author seemed to press into her narration made me distrust its intent and dislike the author-as-character. She builds for far too long the lead-up to the Iranian Revolution. It becomes tedious when sh ...more
Mehrnaz
Dec 02, 2008 Mehrnaz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you are a westerner who is a little bored with his or her routine and marvelously comfortable life looking for "exotic" things to happen right in front of his/her eyes; this book is NOT for you.

If you are interested in history unfolding itself with its tiniest details to leave you awestruck with an array of incredible events so that you feel a little of emotion in your otherwise numb emotional system; this book is NOT for you.

If you easily get bored by people talking about their real feelings
...more
Megan
Jan 28, 2009 Megan rated it it was amazing
This is similar to "Reading Lolita in Tehran" but the author is Jewish, which makes her an outsider during the 1979 revolution when she is 12 years old. She is able to bring me right into her house as she listens to her cousin talk on the phone, discovers the limitations imposed on her because she is a girl, and investigates what is happening in her country when no adults will give her a straight answer. My heart aches for her family and her neighbor's family as she describes the challenges they ...more
Elizabeth
Again, not what I thought it would be. I'm not yet sure I'm even going to finish it because I keep waiting for something to happen... more details about the revolution or more depth into its impact. I don't know if it's her writing style, or if it's because she was a child that it's consequently egocentric, but as I'm reading it, I'm sort of thinking "so what?" It's a little boring I guess. The title suggests more would be happening 3/4 of the way through the book.

Update: so I did finish it, and
...more
Sassan
Jan 14, 2013 Sassan rated it it was amazing
Roya Hakakian is a tremendous writer and in the "Journey from the Land of No", Roya beautifully brings forth her personal experience growing up in Iran during the horrendous events of the revolution and its aftermath. Roya is more than a writer, she is a poet. And in this work she exemplifies this and writes so beautifully and elegantly. I highly recommend this book for those wanting to understand the events that led to the revolution and the horrendous aftermath that resulted. Roya beautifully ...more
anna
Nov 04, 2014 anna rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great little book that can be read as a companion to marjane satrapi's Persepolis. Besides the lack of graphics the difference is that Hakakian tells the story of the revolution through the eyes of the Jewish population of Iran. She also talks about the resistance movement, the tortured, censorship; she also shows how the Jewish community begins to disintegrate after the execution of the Jewish industrialist/philanthropist who started plasco. Otherwise this is a good refresher course on the ru ...more
Natasha
Oct 19, 2014 Natasha rated it it was amazing
A beautiful testament to what it means to be Iranian-- not just in appearance or citizenship, but in the soul. It's a remarkable story of a girl becoming a woman in tragic circumstances and gaining a wisdom, poise, and spirit beyond her years. It's a story that bears witness to the transformations of a society, of its people, of its hopes, and of its fears. It's indeed a journey, and one whose memories will not fade but burn ever brighter in their remembrance.
Jendimmick
Feb 24, 2014 Jendimmick rated it liked it
Roya Hakakian's memoir sheds light on the experience of a little known population of Jews in Tehran during the time of the revolution agains the Shah and the ultimate installation of the Ayatollah. Roya's coming-of-age was unique, even from that of many of her peers in Iran, due to her minority heritage and faith. It is fascinating to learn about the time before the revolution, when her tightly knit community coexisted peacefully and respectfully with its Muslim neighbors, and all the more poign ...more
Peta Brettig
Feb 10, 2013 Peta Brettig rated it liked it
While I enjoyed reading about Roya's childhood in Iran, the story left me wanting more facts and history. The book left me feeling very grateful to have grown up in Australia! Another example of women being treated as second class citizens, and also the segregation that religion can cause. Interesting read but I would have enjoyed it more if there was a bit more history and explanation of what was happening at the time.
Stacey
Dec 07, 2014 Stacey rated it it was amazing
This book is an amazing inner look into a young Iranian girl in the era of the Ayatollah. Witty and in depth, this is a must-read for anyone, especially if you remember the late 70's, early 80's.
Patrick
Oct 08, 2009 Patrick rated it really liked it
A poetically written piece of work about Roya's coming-of-age in Revolutionary Iran. It chronicles Roya's adolescent experience within the Shah's oppressive regime and the way it denied Iranian civil liberties/freedom of expression, to its downfall by Agha and the subsequent celebration, to the even more oppressive theocratic regime of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Theocratic regimes are the worst regimes because not only is it dictatorial but it makes religion compulsory, so the only outlet to ...more
Caroline
Jan 16, 2010 Caroline rated it liked it
Shelves: school, non-fiction
As a young student in America, Roya Hakakian observed the skewed perception Americans had of Iranians. At first, she laughed at assumptions of a Bedouin upbringing where camels were used for transportation, but soon, she grew frustrated with the inability of her peers to understand the Iran she loved. During the summer of 1999 while working as a reporter, she received a phone call from a New York Times journalist who wished to hear her perspective on the political situation in Iran. Begrudgingly ...more
Maha Balouch
Sep 20, 2014 Maha Balouch rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoir
This is a well-written autobiography of a Jewish girl caught in the midst of revolutionary Iran. The author starts off by writing about her home life and her respect and attitude towards the Jews and Muslims that live in her community.
When the person they call "Agha" starts sending tapes over to direct the Iranians against their King in power, a serious turn of events causes the author and her family to remain cautious.
When the Agha finally does make it into Iran, he makes changes severe enoug
...more
Catherine
Aug 27, 2007 Catherine rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone interested in learning a little bit about history from a 1st person POV
Shelves: alreadyread
Ethnic studies taught me that no history can be truly understood without hearing the voices of the people who lived it, in their own words. The story of Roya Hakakian's journey as a young Iranian girl growing up in the streets of Tehran is a compelling argument for the first person perspective. I have read many histories on the Middle East and its various successes and crises -- but they are usually from either a (1) mea-culpa-like, hand-wringing, the U.S. is the source of all bad things POV or ...more
Margaret
Aug 12, 2011 Margaret added it
Shelves: 2005
I found this book very interesting - I had some knowledge about what has happened in Iran, but very little about Jews living in Iran. I found her writing style very "airy" (some have called it "lyrical") - her background in poetry shows. I sometimes felt like her expression of her emotions in reaction to events in the book was really the tip of the iceberg in terms of what she was feeling - I got the intensity of what she felt more from reading of her resulting actions rather than the descriptio ...more
Emily
Jun 05, 2011 Emily rated it really liked it
This was a beautifully written book about one girl's experience of the 1979 revolution in Iran. It is so hard to imagine living in these kinds of circumstances, rulers being overthrown & such strict laws. It was so interesting to learn about the Jewish perspective of this time period -- I had no idea they were persecuted & treated so horribly by their fellow countrymen. I loved seeing those few shining moments when Roya was encouraged and as she developed her talents.

My only complaint a
...more
Margaret Cox
Apr 07, 2016 Margaret Cox rated it really liked it
An interesting book written by a good storey teller. It brought home the turbulent situation for a young Jewish girl growing up in the country she loved, Iran. She describes the treatment and the courage needed to endure the hardships, the courage that people like Roya had to have to get through it all.
Mary
Feb 14, 2015 Mary rated it liked it
Journey from the Land of No is a coming of age book of a young Jewish girl living in revolutionary Iran. It is about learning to use all your senses to see the world around you and learning the consequences when you don't. It is a book about love of country and the immense feeling of betrayal when that country turns on you. A book about love of family underscored by fear.
S
Nov 24, 2009 S rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book and am suprised I had not heard more about it. Written by an Iranian Jewish woman who was about my age during the Islamic Revolution of Iran but was much more aware of what was actully going on in the streets not only because she comes from a pretty intellectual family, runs around with friends that are from Islamic families and talked about what was going on but she was acutely aware because of the intervention in her all Jewish school by the Islamic Republic.

Roya Hak
...more
Denise
Jul 16, 2009 Denise rated it liked it
Interesting book. I had no idea that there was a very large Jewish population in Iran. This book is the view of the revolution of 1979 from the viewpoint of a young Jewish girl. She was very caught up in the revolution and welcomed the Ayatollah Khomeni along with the rest of the country. Freedoms may have been restricted under the shah, but nothing like what happened when the Ayatollah took power! It's an interesting look at how freedoms can be slowly taken away and you don't really notice unti ...more
Kathryn
Sep 16, 2015 Kathryn rated it liked it
I really wanted to connect to this story of a young Jewish woman in revolutionary Iran, but I felt like I was at a remove from the people. I think Hakakian coukdnt decide if her aim was education or empathy and though I appreciated the cultural background I wanted more detail and less description.
Roberta Schwartz
Jul 22, 2015 Roberta Schwartz rated it it was amazing
I loved this non fiction book which read like an amazing story of life for in a large Jewish colony in Iran!
J B
Jul 25, 2008 J B rated it it was amazing
Even though I've recently been immersed in tales of the Muslim world, both inside America and out, I was moved by this book. It's about the experiences of a Jewish woman living in Iran before, during, and after the revolution that brought the Shah to power in the 70s. It's very interesting to learn about the progressive country that was Iran before things changed. I found this book because the author recently wrote an article about the persecution of Baha'is that is ongoing in Iran today. She's ...more
Ang
Jul 06, 2012 Ang rated it liked it
I enjoyed this book a lot. Really teaches about her history, and what loosing freedoms will lead to. I am not much of a poetic / artsy type, this author is. I am sure there is an audience that loves this style. However I felt a bit frustrated because I wanted more details and info- to learn from, there seems to be so much more she could have written in place of the poetic pieces that were likely more from her dreams, thoughts and feelings. I might sound a bit cold, since I did not appreciate her ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 88 89 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • To See and See Again: A Life in Iran and America
  • Even After All This Time: A Story of Love, Revolution, and Leaving Iran
  • Neither East Nor West: One Woman's Journey Through the Islamic Republic of Iran
  • Jasmine and Stars: Reading More Than Lolita in Tehran
  • Persian Mirrors: The Elusive Face of Iran
  • Mirrors of the Unseen: Journeys in Iran
  • We Are Iran: The Persian Blogs
  • Daughter of Persia: A Woman's Journey from Her Father's Harem Through the Islamic Revolution
  • The Ayatollah Begs to Differ: The Paradox of Modern Iran
  • Persian Girls
  • The Soul of Iran: A Nation's Struggle for Freedom
  • Saffron Sky: A Life between Iran and America
  • The Storyteller's Daughter: One Woman's Return to Her Lost Homeland
  • Honeymoon in Tehran: Two Years of Love and Danger in Iran
  • My Father's Paradise: A Son's Search for His Jewish Past in Kurdish Iraq
  • A Border Passage: From Cairo to America – A Woman's Journey
  • Searching for Hassan: A Journey to the Heart of Iran
  • The Girl from Foreign: A Search for Shipwrecked Ancestors, Forgotten Histories, and a Sense of Home
74190
Roya Hakakian (Persian: رویا حکاکیان) (born 1966 in Iran) is an Iranian-American poet, journalist and writer living in the United States. A lauded Persian poet turned television producer with programs like 60 Minutes, Roya became well known for her memoir, Journey from the Land of No in 2004 and essays on Iranian issues in the New York Times, The Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal and on NPR ...more
More about Roya Hakakian...

Share This Book