My Life as a Traitor: An Iranian Memoir
Zahara was only twenty when she was snatched off the streets outside her uni ...more
*May Contain Minor Spoilers*
From the beginning, I wanted to hate this book. Essentially promoted as “a young girl is tortured by Iranian zealots,” I suspected nothing more than page after page of anti-Iranian propaganda. I hear enough about how evil every other political state is, I don’t need more.
It didn’t take long into this memoir, however, to realize that this author was not going to take this angle. Yes, there was the occassional condemnation of the Iranian gov...more
Zarah Ghahramani was born in 1981 and lived through the Iran-Iraq War. Her father was a civil servant in the government of the Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi ovethrown and replaced by the mad Mullahs , The Shah had had his faults and did not always operate Iran as a liberal democracy but was posit ...more
What I also noticed was this author's habit of constantly saying that all the bad things that happened in Iran also happened in England or America or any other country.
Some things did indeed happen but hello we managed to change people's views. For instance women are not treated as they are in Iran. We do not have to cover ourselves because maybe me ...more
This book describes the author's abduction and incarceration in an Iranian prison, without due process. The young girl is guilty of being an activist for social issues. She describes various mental and physical means of torture used to get her to admit her 'guilt.'
I didn't enjoy the author's writing style, somewhat juvenile.
Seems to have gotten good review by others, maybe it just missed the mark for me.
Interesting but it skimmed over the surface with no real depth. Also, it ended very abruptly and gave no details about the author's current life. I was curious enough to do and internet search to satisfy my curiosity!
Lately I've had bad luck reading personal memoirs. They tend to get stuck in my throat, and the gag factor has everything to do with truth-telling. Many contemporary memoirs carry the aroma of excessive embellishment if not outright fabrication.
My Life as a Traitor by Zarah Ghahramani is not such a memoir. I believed every word. It works as a personal account of courage in the face of torture; it works as an historical document of life in Iran under the Islamic regime.
Ms. Ghahramani was a politi ...more
The beautifully constructed sentences reveal a world that we thought we knew, but soon realise we didn't know at all. A lot of books have been published about the regions oppression of women, of freedom, but this book describes all this in a very different way. After reading this, one is guaranteed to see the Middle ...more
Nazi-like Torture in Iran
It’s depressing to be reminded that in this day and age there are still parts of the world that refuse to accept simple modern concepts like freedom of speech and equality of the sexes, all under the cloak of religious fundamentalism. It’s hard to believe that the cruel punishment described in this book, written in the first person, is actually true – but it is. The protagonist/author relates her torture experiences in prison with simple, easy to read prose (with the a ...more
The book's most winning quality is Ghahramani's spirit. Her honesty ...more
This is an extraordinary book
I took my time reading this.. mostly because there is so much here.. And I didn't know a lot of what she was writing about.. (In chapter 13, Zarah, recalls grudgingly having to learn Arabic, feeling disdain for the Arabs who brought Persia to its knees fourteen hundred years ago.. How do such ancient history manifest itself in current events? Why do western audiences often lack knowledge of the history beyond western civilization, while ...more
Farah's insights and thoughtful writing is very compelling. While the topic of torture and interrogation ar ...more
Hearing about the various things that happened to her well she was in prison well flashing back to what her life was like before all of this happened, made my stomach clench. It’s as if she was living in two different worlds and not the same country.
I think how the book ...more
Well written, interesting and a page-turner. After holding my ...more
I found parts of the book quite interesting, including the bits about her Kurdish family background and the pre-Islamic history of Iran/Persia. But the endless interrogations in Evin prison just seemed way too detailed to be realistic - would you really remember every single word (= verbatim!) an interrogator asked you when you've lost track of time or have no sense of what's going on?! T ...more