Prisoner of Tehran by Marina Nemat [Book Review]

Prisoner of Tehran Marina NematTitle : Prisoner of Tehran

Author : Marina Nemat

ISBN : 9781416537427

Publisher : Penguin

Genre : Memoir, Nonfiction

Pages : 306

Source : Self

Rating : 5 stars






Prisoner of Tehran is a heartbreaking true story of a young Iranian girl facing the brutal horrors of the Islamic Revolution.

Marina Nemat, a Christian girl from Tehran was only 16 years old when she was arrested on false charges by the notorious Revolutionary guards of Ayotallah Khomeini. She was tortured and put up in the infamous ‘Evin prison’ while she saw her friends getting executed.

But she got a chance to live! Her interrogator Ali fell in love with her and got her out. In return she had to convert to Islam and marry him! Although she is not happy about her marriage to him, she learns to love his family. Towards the end of the book the guard, Marina’s husband, is assassinated by his friends and coworkers. His dying wish is for his father to take Marina back.

The author describes how she became a political prisoner in the early days of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary government for the crime of asking her calculus teacher to teach calculus instead of government propaganda.

The chapters in which the autho flashes back to her earlier childhood in Iran are as captivating as the prison chapters, and in some ways almost as heartbreaking.

Prisoner of Tehran is not just a memoir of a victim, it also traces the sexual and political awakening of a teenage liberal girl belonging to the minority Christian community whose life is turned upside down when Islamic Revolution of Iran happened in 1979.

Even though it’s a memoir, the book is extremely well written with beautiful prose. Heart wrenching, captivating, exhilarating, tragic, and beautiful are a few words to describe this masterpiece. The subject matter of the book is heavy but it’s written in a very readable way!

Marina Nemat does a great justice to every character is the book by showing that reality is not as simple as black and white. She also shows the humanity and kindness shown by the guard who forced her to marry him.

Highly recommended!


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