The Alley of Love and Yellow Jasmines

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Overview

Oscar nominee and Emmy Award–winning actress Shohreh Aghdashloo shares her remarkable personal journey—from a childhood in the Shah's Iran to the red carpets of Hollywood—in this dazzling memoir of family, faith, revolution, and hope.

Enchanted by the movies she watched while growing up in affluent Tehran in the 1950s and '60s, Shohreh Aghdashloo dreamed of becoming an actress despite her parents' more practical plans. When she fell in love and married her husband, Aydin, a ...

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Overview

Oscar nominee and Emmy Award–winning actress Shohreh Aghdashloo shares her remarkable personal journey—from a childhood in the Shah's Iran to the red carpets of Hollywood—in this dazzling memoir of family, faith, revolution, and hope.

Enchanted by the movies she watched while growing up in affluent Tehran in the 1950s and '60s, Shohreh Aghdashloo dreamed of becoming an actress despite her parents' more practical plans. When she fell in love and married her husband, Aydin, a painter twelve years her senior, she made him promise he'd allow her to follow her passion.

The first years of her marriage were magical. As Shohreh began to build a promising career, Aydin worked at the royal offices as an art director while exhibiting his paintings in Tehran. But in 1979 revolution swept Iran, toppling the Shah and installing an Islamic republic under the Ayatollah Khomeini. Alarmed by the stifling new restrictions on women and art, Shohreh made the bold and dangerous decision to escape the new regime and her home country. Leaving her family and the man she loved behind, she fled in a covert journey to Europe and eventually to Los Angeles.

In this moving, deeply personal memoir, Shohreh shares her story: it is a tale of privilege and affluence, pain and prejudice, tenacity and success. She writes poignantly about her struggles as an outsider in a for-eign culture—as a woman, a Muslim, and an Iranian—adapting to a new land and a new language. She shares behind-the-scenes stories about what it's really like to be a Hollywood actress—including being snubbed by two of Tinseltown's biggest names on Oscar night.

Lyrical and atmospheric, The Alley of Love and Yellow Jasmines is a powerful story of ambition, art, politics, terror, and courage—of an extraordinary woman determined to live her dreams.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
04/08/2013
Tehran-born actor Aghdashloo was the first Iranian to be nominated for an Academy Award (for the film House of Sand and Fog). In this memoir, she describes her dramatic journey from the Shah’s Iran of her childhood to Hollywood. As a teenager in the 1970s, she had an epiphany while seeing Gone with the Wind, deciding right then to become an actor. Before she was 20 she’d married and landed her first lead role in a play. But with the changing political landscape in the country in the late 1970s and her growing vocal opposition to the Ayatollah, she left Iran. Experiencing total freedom for the first time, she divorced her husband and got an education. Eventually she moved to the U.S., where she found work in television and radio amid the huge Iranian community in L.A. Her success didn’t happen overnight: “With my accent and jet-black hair, I was not exactly the girl next door.” She got her first break on Matlock, more than a decade before her trip to the Oscars. But with that transformative moment, she explains in this heartfelt narrative, her Hollywood adventure began in earnest. (June)
Shelf Awareness
The Alley of Love and Yellow Jasmines is one woman’s straightforward account of the upheaval in Iran and her determination to overcome its impact on her life.”
Kirkus Reviews
From the Iranian Revolution to Hollywood, with courage and style. The first Iranian and Middle Eastern actor to be nominated for an Academy Award (House of Sand and Fog), Aghdashloo tells a plucky tale of fortune and tenacity, beginning in Tehran in the late 1960s as the firstborn of a well-off civil servant. Although the shah had modernized the country considerably, traditional values were still strictly adhered to--e.g., the interdiction on becoming an actress, as the author desperately desired from early on. While her father had decided she was going to become a doctor, the then-19-year-old author was waylaid by a dashing older suitor, Aydin Aghdashloo, a well-connected artist who truly swept her off her feet. He also assured her that, as his wife, she could pursue her dream. She did, instantly procuring a spot at the theater workshop that would provide her with some teeth-cutting roles over the next few years. Yet the political situation grew dodgy by the late 1970s, and the author writes that she had to choose between staying in a repressive atmosphere that censored the arts and leaving her husband, who had decided to stay in Iran. It was a heartrending decision, but the author does not adequately explain it, perhaps due to the confusion of the time. Aghdashloo installed herself in London, returned to school and completed her college degree by her early 30s, working largely at Browns boutique in Knightsbridge and selling her jewelry and car. She eventually found acting work that conveyed her to Hollywood. Though somewhat high-handedly edited, her work conveys a tremendous energy and love for her craft and adopted country. A work as charming and elegant as the actress herself, conveying her remarkable career as a survivor of the Iranian debacle.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780062009807
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 6/4/2013
  • Pages: 274
  • Sales rank: 643,437
  • Product dimensions: 15.00 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Shohreh Aghdashloo won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress for HBO's House of Saddam and was the first Iranian actress ever to be nominated for an Academy Award, for her role in House of Sand and Fog. She has starred in the Fox series 24 and has been featured in a number of television shows and films. Born and raised in Tehran, she now lives in Los Angeles.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 29, 2013

    Exceptional book. Exceptional actress, and a very interesting p

    Exceptional book. Exceptional actress, and a very interesting person. Craig Fergurson what are you waiting for - I have seen Ms. Aghdashloo on your show a few times and I think you should invite her on again soon so that she can talk about her book.

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