Marsha Mehran was
born in Iran, on the eve of the
Islamic Revolution. Amidst the
increasing chaos her parents
decided to emigrate to America -
they were luckier than most as
they had a modest nest egg and
letters of acceptance from the
University of Arizona, but they
needed visas. On November 4,
1979, her father planned to file
their visa applications with the
American Embassy, but a band of
revolutionary students bombarded
the consulate and took the
employees hostage. This
momentous turn of events, known
to all Iranians as 'The
Revolution', launched her family
into a peripatetic existence
that crossed five continents,
numerous cultures, and equipped
her with a trunk full of
adventures, both public and
With the embassy under siege, her parents were forced to abandon their dreams of American academia - so they moved to Buenos Aires and opened a Middle Eastern café, El Pollo Loco (The Crazy Chicken). Marsha attended a Scottish private academy where the Bagpipe ceremonies and kilted school uniforms instilled in her a lifetime love for all things Celtic. Meanwhile, at four years old, she was learning three languages simultaneously (Farsi at home, English at school, and Spanish in the streets).
In 1984, amid threats of military coups and a teetering Argentinean economy, her parents were forced to sell their beloved café and move to Miami, Florida. When she was 14 her parents divorced and she went to live with her mother in Australia; then at 19 she left for New York City with $200 in her pocket. She met her husband, Christopher, in an Irish pub where he worked as a bartender). They spent the next two years in Ireland and now divide their time between Ireland and Brooklyn.
I caught up with Marsha by email a few days ago to see how things were going on her new book and she tells me that a sequel is in the works, which will be larger in scope than Pomegranate Soup, following up on the Aminpour sisters a year and a half after they first arrived in Ballinacroagh. She describes it as "a story of Iranian mothers and their Iranian-American daughters. A very female-oriented book, filled with feminine power and magic."
She also says that she's looking forward to being back in New York at the end of September to start her national author tour, and that she is "so looking forward to being back on warmer soil, and to meeting new readers." She ends by saying, "the paperback cover is so beautiful, it makes me tingle with excitement!"
This article was originally published in August 2005, and has been updated for the
September 2006 paperback release.
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