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April 29, 2009


Posted by carol contributor and book club facilitator Esther Bushell weighs in on Rooftops of Tehran, Mahbod Seraji's novel about growing up, discovering love and awakening to the reality of life in Iran on the verge of revolution in the 1970s. One of the things I love best is connecting authors with readers who I think will love them, which you'll see from Esther's post below. Insider scoop moment: Rooftops of Tehran is my next Bets On pick. More on that next week.

Would you like to win copies of Rooftops of Tehran for your group? Today is the last day to enter. And click here to find out how you can schedule a chat between Mahbod and your reading group.

I just finished Rooftops of Tehran by Mahbod Seraji. Last October, at BookGroupExpo in San Jose, Carol Fitzgerald and I had lunch with Mahbod, and I've been waiting for the book since then. It didn't disappoint, and it was particularly relevant to me on many levels.

First of all, if I were still teaching at Greenwich High School, I'd require my juniors to read the book as a companion to their social studies unit about the revolution in Iran. There seems to be mass amnesia about that time in history, and we never hear about it or read about it. The kids would find this fascinating because history is presented in the context of a novel.

Also, after the Shah died, his wife and children settled here in Greenwich; they were a presence in town, and I taught the son of the assassinated chief of the (entire) Iranian military in one of my English classes. This young man had grown up in the royal palace, and his family was on the Shah's plane when it left Iran and came to America.

The publication date of Rooftops of Tehran is next Tuesday, May 5th, and along with book clubs I would recommend it to high school and college students as well as their parents. I am not going to relate the plot because you can find that out online, but I hope that you will read this fascinating, layered novel that is about the personal as well as the politically charged 1970s in Tehran. It's important that this time in history is neither forgotten nor overlooked.

---Esther Bushell