Farrokh (Southern California Review)

Farrokh was an Iranian film director, a generation older than I. His girlfriend of several decades, Leyli, was an artist who did watercolors and acrylics of traditional Persian designs, such as the plate of sprouted barley or lentils that we decorate our haft sin table with on our New Year, which is celebrated with the vernal equinox (read more)

Fridays at Larak (The Sonora Review)

My memories of Iran sometimes coalesce into images of Larak, an estate to the north of Tehran, snuggling where the hills turned steep and swelled into mountains. Traveling that far—some twenty miles from the capital—was quite an excursion in those distant days, but we went fairly often, in all seasons. How else would I remember both the smell of fresh-cut wheat in summer and the crunch of snow under my lined boots in winter? (read more)

Pishoo Was Like Venice (

The character traits that I dislike in cats are the same that I dislike in humans: self-absorption, moodiness, indifference, hedonism, manipulativeness, a streak of cruelty... everything that was left out of Pishoo the day they made her. Oh, she was a cat all right. Of that there can be no doubt: she was graceful and contained (read more)

My father's photograph

For some eight-odd years, the Iranian Embassy in Paris had occupied a stately but decrepit mansion in the Rue Fortuny, a quiet street off the Parc Monceau. Chancery and residence were in the main building while a nondescript two-story brick building in the interior courtyard housed the consulate (read more)