Once Upon a Time in Uppsala
Shirin Amani Azari releases her moving memoir of a young Iranian girl transplanted to Sweden during the Iran–Iraq War in the 1980s.
Shirin Amani Azari was born in Tehran, Iran, and raised in Sweden from the age of twelve. She moved to the UK in 1997 and works as a psychotherapist. Since 2000, she has worked with victims of torture and developed a therapy aid group dedicated to Farsi-speaking women and men. Shirin lives with her husband and daughter, and together they keep Zoroastrian traditions alive at home. Shirin says, “I told my story as a voice to young immigrants and refugees, struggling with cultural clashes, finding their space in a new home. I also wanted to restore my grandmother’s folklore tales for future generations as most are unwritten.
Shirin has just arrived from war-stricken Iran to Sweden – her new home. Her and her family must learn to acclimatise to the weather, culture and socialisation of Sweden whilst still staying in touch with their Iranian heritage.
Along with her response to such things as a traditional Swedish Christmas lunch, the dating rituals of European teenagers or the social dynamics of an unfamiliar and not always friendly classroom are fascinating glimpses into the lives of a varied community of refugees, eccentrics and drop-outs. These are interspersed with traditional Persian fairy tales and nostalgic memories of her beloved grandmother, which sustain her in her new life.
Once Upon A Time in Uppsala is a remarkable, candid and moving account of a sensitive child on the verge of adolescence transplanted from her beloved but suffering homeland into a country which, although politically safe, offers unexpected challenges of its own.
“A book of an unusual charm.”
Irma Kurtz (Author of My Life in Agony, About Time and Agony Aunt for Cosmopolitan)
“This is an exceptionally candid, sensitive and lively account of an immigrant’s experience in an alien society.”
Jonathan Keates (Writer, biographer, novelist and former chairman of the Venice in Peril Fund)
“Honest, unflinching and thought-provoking, this is a book that will stay with me for a long time…”
Awais Khan, (Award-winning author of No Honour)
“A moving and fascinating read about displacement, integration, solidarity and friendship.”
Daphna Baram (Author of Disenchantment, The Guardian and Israel)
“A beautiful, deeply moving account of love, family and friendship. Everyone should read this.”
A.A. Chaudhuri (Best-selling author of The Scribe, The Abduction, She’s Mine and The Loyal Friend
Visit www.shirinamaniazari.com to find out more.