The Cypress Tree is the first book I’ve read from Kamin Mohammadi. The author, who took me from London to Iran in a couple of pages, shared with me her sorrows and joys with her excellent narrative. For this reason (and also because she talks about Italy) I’m thinking of reading her other book, Bella Figura, as soon as possible. But now let’s take a look at The Cypress Tree.
The Cypress Tree consists of memories of Kamin Mohammadi, who left Iran at the age of nine and settled in England. Mohammadi tells the story of Iran while discussing her family’s experiences. If you only have some general knowledge about Iran, I am sure you will enjoy reading this book. I can assure you that you will learn a lot. It is truly a great experience to learn about a country’s history, geography and culture from a good storyteller. You cannot read the delicately described sofras, everchanging politics, intimate family life and social relations in an ordinary history book. This book, in a word, is a gem and waiting to be discovered by the curious readers. Enjoy!
About the book: The Cypress Tree
Kamin Mohammadi was nine years old when her family fled Iran during the 1979 Revolution. Bewildered by the seismic changes in her homeland, she turned her back on the past. And spent her teenage years trying to fit in with British attitudes to family, food and freedom. She was twenty-seven before she returned to Iran, drawn inexorably back by memories of her grandmother’s house in Abadan. With its traditional inner courtyard, its noisy gatherings and its very walls steeped in history.
The Cypress Tree is Kamin’s account of her journey home, to rediscover her Iranian self. And to discover for the first time the story of her family. A sprawling clan that sprang from humble roots to bloom during the affluent. Biba-clad 1960s, however only to be shake by the horrors of the Iran-Iraq War and the heartbreak of exile. And toughened by the struggle for democracy that continues today.
This moving and passionate memoir is a love letter both to Kamin’s extraordinary family and to Iran itself. An ancient country which has survived so much modern tumult but where joy and resilience will always triumph over despair.
About the author: Kamin Mohammadi
Kamin Mohammadi is an exiled Iranian writer living in Britain. She is also a broadcaster and journalist who specialises in Iran related topics, among other things.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: