About the author

Firoozeh Dumas
Firoozeh Dumas (pronounced fir'ü'zā dü'mä) was born in Abadan, Iran and moved to Whittier, California at the age of seven. After a two-year stay, she and her family moved back to Iran and lived in Ahvaz and Tehran. Two years later, they moved back to Whittier, then to Newport Beach. Firoozeh attended UC Berkeley where she met and married a Frenchman.

Firoozeh grew up listening to her father, a former Fulbright Scholar, recount the many colorful stories of his life. In 2001, with no prior writing experience, Firoozeh decided to write her stories as a gift for her children. Random House published these stories in 2003. Funny in Farsi was on the SF Chronicle and LA Times bestseller lists and was a finalist for the PEN/USA award in 2004 and a finalist in 2005 for an Audie Award for best audio book. She lost to Bob Dylan. She was also a finalist for the prestigious Thurber Prize for American Humor, the first Middle Eastern woman ever to receive this honor. Unfortunately, she lost that one to Jon Stewart. Even though, as Firoozeh’s dad likes to point out, Jon Stewart wrote his book with a team of writers, while Firoozeh wrote hers, alone, before her children woke up for school.

For the past five years, Firoozeh has traveled the country reminding us that our commonalities far outweigh our differences…and doing so with humor. She has spoken in conferences, schools, universities, churches, Jewish Temples and Islamic centers. Her travels have taken her from the East Coast to the West Coast, from Harvard University to UCLA. Everywhere she has gone, audiences have embraced her message of shared humanity and invited her back for more.

The Persian version of Funny in Farsi is currently one of the bestselling books in Iran. Firoozeh’s second book, Laughing Without an Accent, a series of autobiographical essays, was published by Random House in May 2008.

Copyright © 2007 Firoozeh Dumas. Excerpted by permission of Random House Trade Paperbacks, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

To learn more about the author or to join her blog, please visit Firoozeh Dumas' website http://firoozehdumas.com. Or to listen to an interview with the author, visit NPR. org "All Things Considered."

last updated: 11/20/2008