Sajed Bhandari

America, Books, Cooking, Muslims and some other things

Book Review: Lipstick Jihad

Book Review: Lipstick Jihad: A Memoir of Growing up Iranian in American and American in Iran by Azadeh Moaveni


Who: Azadeh Moaveni is an Iranian-American woman who wrote this book after living for a few years in Tehran.  She worked as a journalist for Time magazine in Iran.

What: It is a memoir by an Iranian-American woman struggling to reconcile her Iranian heritage with her life in America.  She travels and lives in Iran to discover what being Iranian means to her.  The bulk of the book takes place in Iran, as she covers the life of the youth underneath clerical rule in Iran as well as discovering where her “home” is.

When: Takes place during the Khatami years and ends right after September 11th.

Where: Mostly in Iran, but touches upon her life in California, New York, Cairo and Beirut.

Why: To understand herself.  In the process, she offers a glimpse and critique of Iranian life without it being a thinly veiled, neo-conservative attack on Iran and Iranians (what a lot of other memoirs seem to be about).

Recommendation: My favorite book I have read this year.  READ IT.

Comments: I tagged too many pages in this book, as there were countless passages that touched upon the frustration I feel with conservative society, the façade of piety that forced religiosity creates, but also the beauty that does exist in so many Muslim societies.  The ending of the memoir is particularly powerful as Azadeh talks about the immediate aftermath of being Muslim in America after the terrorist attacks.  There is too much to say about this book, but my rule on book reviews is to keep them short, not be pretentious and encourage you to read for yourself.  Definitely read it.


Written by sajedbhandari

November 23, 2010 at 7:39 am

%d bloggers like this: