"Prisoner of Tehran, Nemat's brilliant 2007 memoir, was at once an exquisite work of art about the burden or memory, and an astonishing story... After Tehran is Nemat's after-story: if the first book recounts her ordeal, the second counts the cost of telling about it...an account as graceful, honest, and revelatory as her original."
"[a] portrait of an artist and the evolution of an activist."
"...a fascinating study of one woman's struggle to win back her life from the ravages of a traumatic past."
Penguin Canada 2010
A Life Reclaimed
When Marina Nemat walks out of the notorious Evin prison at age 18, after being incarcerated for 2 years, 2 months, and 12 days for political crimes, and crosses the busy Jordan Highway in Tehran to join her family, she hopes to resume her life.
But release from prison promises a freedom that is elusive. Her loving but flawed parents are wary of probing the details of torture and rape. Her high school sweetheart Andre, the boy who played the church organ, has waited for her. Yet, she can’t tell him about her forced marriage to her captor, Ali, a Revolutionary Guard, or about Ali’s death, and the miscarriage she had suffered.
Even her marriage to Andre imperils them. Her reversion to her Catholic faith after her forced conversion to Islam is regarded as apostasy, a crime punishable by death.
She and Andre manage to leave Iran to come to Canada in 1991and to raise two sons. Despite her attempts to compartmentalize her present from her past, survivor guilt, the burden of secrets, and flashbacks of the agonies she suffered , intrude on her life as a housewife and mother with a job as a waitress at a suburban fast food restaurant.
Marina finds freedom when she summons the courage to break her silence in her bestselling memoir Prisoner of Tehran. It is a powerful story of a girl held hostage by a cruel regime. After Tehran: A Life Reclaimed is a moving and triumphant story of a mature woman and her struggle to breathe free.
Both books are a validation of process of bearing witness, an act which requires both the author and the reader. Therein lies the beauty and the healing.
Click here for Marina's website:
Book trailer for After Tehran:
Prisoner of Tehran was chosen as the common book for the University of Minnesota's interdisciplinary First Year Experience program because it initiates discussion about this single question: how can one person make a difference. Read more:
TVO film interview Feb 2010:
Chosen as one of five noteworthy books in the National Catholic Reporter:
Click here for Marina on Iran in the Huffington Post:
Marina is featured in Ha'aretz, Israel's largest English language newspaper, for the Jerusalem Book Fair: