EW reviews two memoirs of life in Iran -- ''Even After All This Time'' and ''Lipstick Jihad''

By Gilbert Cruz
Updated March 21, 2005 at 05:00 AM EST

EW reviews two memoirs of life in Iran

Afschineh Latifi

Azadeh Moaveni

Two new memoirs by Iranian-American women follow the path trodden by Azar Nafisi’s best-seller, Reading Lolita in Tehran. Afschineh Latifi recounts how she and her sister were sent to America by their mother, who remained in Iran after her husband’s execution during the Islamic Revolution of 1979. Though well-written, her book follows the all-too-familiar bell curve of immigrant struggle: displacement, self-loathing, and, finally, hard work and success. Meanwhile, former TIME reporter Azadeh Moaveni travels in the opposite direction, leaving California for Tehran in 2000. There she finds a fundamentalist regime rocked by the irrepressible energy of its youth, who risk beatings from the morality police to drink alcohol and hold hands in public. Lipstick Jihad‘s tug between objective reporting and Moaveni’s subjectivity as an Iranian woman shines a fascinating light on a nation at odds with itself. Time: B- Jihad: A-