Meri's Reviews > Lipstick Jihad: A Memoir of Growing up Iranian in America and American in Iran

Lipstick Jihad by Azadeh Moaveni
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's review
Feb 06, 2011

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bookshelves: biography-memoir, middle-east
Read from February 06 to 11, 2011

I made the mistake of reading her second book first. Honeymoon in Tehran was a brilliant rendering of an Iranian government that is way out of touch with its people and the left-leaning, secular Iranians she hangs out with. The first book is more of the same, but much less polished. Moaveni talks about many of the same concepts in this book, but in a much more far reaching sense. Rather than just recounting her experience and describing the many personalities she surrounds herself with, describing them as pieces of the fabric of Iranian life, the younger Moaveni attempts to define Iran and the Iranians from her tiny corner of Tehran. She also repeats herself way too often, rehashing the same concepts over and over. Finally, and I really couldn't get past this, she clearly has some sort of eating disorder she doesn't even acknowledge. The people around her keep asking why she doesn't eat lunch or dinner, and in one story she throws out an entire lunch because there's too much oil in it.

It was still a good read for the reason the other book was--it gave some much needed insight into Iran, a country we often paint as "middle eastern" and leave it at that. There's far more to Iran than headscarfs and Hezbollah, and I'm glad I understand that now.
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