Join BookBrowse today and get access to free books, our twice monthly digital magazine, and more.

Iranian Americans: Background information when reading In the Time of Our History

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Read-Alikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

In the Time of Our History

by Susanne Pari

In the Time of Our History by Susanne Pari X
In the Time of Our History by Susanne Pari
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • Paperback:
    Jan 2023, 384 pages

    Genres

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
BookBrowse First Impression Reviewers
Buy This Book

About this Book

Iranian Americans

This article relates to In the Time of Our History

Print Review

Iranian stores on Westwood Blvd, Los Angeles Susanne Pari's In the Time of Our History focuses on an Iranian American immigrant family between New Jersey and San Francisco in the 1990s. The novel is inspired by the author's own family's experiences following the 1979 Islamic Revolution. While people of Iranian descent have lived in the United States since at least the 1930s, immigration from Iran to America surged after the overthrow of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi during the revolution, as a strict Islamic regime took over. More people left the country for the US to flee the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq War, and the Iranian American population has continued to grow steadily since.

The majority of Iranian Americans today live in Southern California, primarily the Los Angeles area — and also in and around San Francisco, San Jose, San Diego and Sacramento. Possible reasons for this include pre-existing communities established by earlier Iranian immigrants and temporary residents living in these places (many of them students and religious minorities), and similarities in the climate and atmosphere between Los Angeles and Tehran. Sepi Shyne, who fled Iran with her family at the age of five, described LA to the New York Times as "the closest thing to really being home." Dr. Reza Aslan of the University of California, Riverside told BBC News that "[Iranians] settled in LA because so much of it reminds them of Iran - the landscape, the car culture, the mountains." One neighborhood south of UCLA, along Westwood Boulevard, has been dubbed Tehrangeles (aka Little Persia) and features many Iranian shops and businesses. Large Iranian-identified populations are present in other parts of the country as well, including New York and New Jersey, the Washington DC area, Texas and Washington State.

Iranian Americans have often dealt with prejudice, which has been exacerbated by ongoing tensions between the American and Iranian governments. A major hit to relations between the two countries occurred when 52 American citizens were held hostage in Tehran in 1979 during the aftermath of the Islamic Revolution, provoking hostility towards newly arrived Iranian immigrants. According to anthropologist Amy Malek, who studies the Iranian diaspora, some Iranian Americans attempted to dodge inaccurate cultural perceptions by saying they were Italian or Greek, or calling themselves Persian rather than Iranian to avoid being connected with negative views of Iran. Since then, Iranians in the US have continued to face racist and xenophobic stereotypes that treat Middle Eastern countries as a monolith associated with terrorism.

Many Iranian Americans are openly critical of Iran's Islamic Republic and supportive of the people fighting for rights under its rule. Following the death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old woman who collapsed in the custody of the regime's morality police (a unit charged with enforcing dress rules for women) in September of 2022, Iranian communities across the US (and elsewhere in the world) formed demonstrations to show solidarity with those in Iran demanding justice and change, who have met with a violent government response. Majid Sadeghpour, a Virginia-based Iranian American and organizer involved in the protests, told CNN, "People of Iran are in the process of another revolution…The regime has been declining for years and now is literally falling. We call on the international community to sever ties with this regime and instead support the Iranian people and their organized resistance."

Iranian stores on Westwood Boulevard in Los Angeles, California, via Wikimedia Commons

Filed under Places, Cultures & Identities

This "beyond the book article" relates to In the Time of Our History. It originally ran in January 2023 and has been updated for the January 2023 paperback edition. Go to magazine.

This review is available to non-members for a limited time. For full access become a member today.
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Join our inner reading circle, go ad-free and get way more!

Find out more


Top Picks

  • Book Jacket: The Last Murder at the End of the World
    The Last Murder at the End of the World
    by Stuart Turton
    The island is the only safe place left on Earth. Since a deadly fog overtook the planet, the ...
  • Book Jacket
    A Kind of Madness
    by Uche Okonkwo
    The word "madness," like many others that can be used to stigmatize mental illness — e.g., "...
  • Book Jacket: Long After We Are Gone
    Long After We Are Gone
    by Terah Shelton Harris
    Terah Shelton Harris's marvelous family drama Long After We Are Gone begins with the death of the ...
  • Book Jacket: Exhibit
    Exhibit
    by R O. Kwon
    Exhibit, R.O. Kwon's sophomore novel (after The Incendiaries, 2018), introduces readers to Jin Han, ...

BookBrowse Book Club

Book Jacket
Look on the Bright Side
by Kristan Higgins
From the author of Pack Up the Moon comes a funny, romantic, and moving novel about life's unexpected rewards.
Book Jacket
The Pecan Children
by Quinn Connor
Two sisters deeply tied to their small Southern town fight to break free of the darkness swallowing the land whole.
Win This Book
Win Bright and Tender Dark

Bright and Tender Dark by Joanna Pearson

A beautifully written, wire-taut debut novel about a murder on a college campus and its aftermath twenty years later.

Enter

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

A W in S C

and be entered to win..

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.