Last Reviewed on June 19, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 220
Funny in Farsi: A Memoir of Growing Up Iranian in America is an autobiography by Iranian-American writer Firoozeh Dumas, first published in 2003. Dumas focuses her story on her family's emigration, in 1972, from Iran to the United States and tells the story of their cultural acclimation to their new surroundings.
As a non-fiction memoir, Dumas herself is the story's principal character and protagonist. Dumas arrives in the United States aged seven speaking no English except the names of seven colors. The story follows Dumas from childhood to her move to Berkeley where she meets her eventual husband. Despite her immersion in American culture, she still harbors an attachment to Iran.
Other members of Dumas' family are principal characters in the story. Farshid, Dumas' older brother, preceded the family to their move to the United States, fulfilling his dream of attending college in the U.S. Dumas' eventual husband, Francois, is the scion of a wealthy, Catholic family and their relationship scandalizes her in-laws. Nazireh, Dumas' mother, is a housewife who once planned to study to become a midwife but eventually settled for a non-working life. Kazem is Dumas' father; an oil engineer from Awhaz, her close attachment to him is a major theme in the book.
Other characters include Dumas' teacher Mrs. Sandberg, her aunt Parvine, and her physician uncle Muhammad.
Unlock This Study Guide Now
- 30,000+ book summaries
- 20% study tools discount
- Ad-free content
- PDF downloads
- 300,000+ answers
- 5-star customer support