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Dirty Laundry: A One-Sided Literary Feud by Stephen Trombley

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In 2013 James Lasdun published his memoir Give Me Everything You Have: On Being Stalked which was assembled from abusive and threatening emails that Afarin (who is called 'Nasreen' in Lasdun's account) wrote after she lost her mind

COSTA MESA, Calif. - s4story -- Afarin Majidi's memoir Writing and Madness in a Time of Terror is a primary source in the the history of hurt. It is also a remarkable document and a testament to overcoming.

In 1979, upper middle-class Iranian women like Afarin Majidi wore French fashions and perfume, smoked in public and generally enjoyed the same social freedoms as western women. Iran was then a kingdom, ruled by Mohammad Reza Pahlavi – the Shah of Iran.

The kingdom to which the Shah was heir was 2,500 years old. It began with the Achaemenid Empire (550–330 BC) which stretched from Anatolia and Egypt across western Asia to northern India and Central Asia. Two-and-a-half millennia later, in 1967, the Shah proclaimed himself 'King of Kings' (his other titles included 'Light of the Aryans'). Vanity aside, Mohammad Reza Shah had some reason to boast – he was responsible for modernizing his country's industry and military and for instituting economic and social reforms. But he was widely viewed as a puppet of America and the CIA and as a vain despot who lined his own pockets while putting American interests first. His feared secret police – SAVAK – brutally repressed domestic dissent.

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Afarin's uncle was Minister of Development under the Shah; her father was a civil servant in his government. Her father was not political, but her uncle was third in command, just below Prime Minister Hoveida. In 1978, the embattled Shah threw Uncle Magdid in prison in an unsuccessful bid to appease the revolutionaries intent on deposing him. Uncle Magdid escaped from prison; the Shah left Tehran in January 1979, never to return. The 2,500-year-old Persian monarchy which the Shah was bent on refashioning as 'The Great Civilization' had come to an end.

In February 1979, Afarin, her brother, three sisters and her parents escaped with just the clothes on their backs. They left Tehran as upper middle-class Iranians and landed in Newark as immigrants – foreigners – their economic status much-reduced...

(to read this review in full, visit https://www.afarinmajidi.com/press)

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In 2013 James Lasdun published his memoir Give Me Everything You Have: On Being Stalked. The text of this book was assembled from abusive and threatening emails that Afarin (who is called 'Nasreen' in Lasdun's account) wrote to him after she had lost her mind. Lasdun works in these seemingly disparate themes to assemble a text of adequate length to make a book.

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