The XX Factor

Book of the Week: “My Prison, My Home”

I read Haleh Esfandiari’s new book, My Prison, My Home , in a weekend, much to the chagrin of my mother, who I was visiting at the time. “Sweetheart, she wrote a book,” my mom said. “I think she survived.” Even though you start Esfandirari’s memoir knowing that she got out of the Iranian prison, it’s still an amazing story about how a life can be turned upside down in a day. I interview Esfaniari here .

Esfandiari, who was a citizen of both the United States and Iran, was arrested while visiting Tehran and accused of plotting to overthrow the regime. She was put in jail for four months, at the age of 67, and survived thanks to her amazing discipline. The book is far more than a prison thriller. Episodes from Esfandiari’s harrowing experience are woven together with insights about the conspiracy-minded Iranian leaders and their difficult relationship with the United States. Although it was written well before this summer’s chaos in Tehran, Esfandiari’s book will help you understand both why Iranians are so hungry for change, and why its rulers are so afraid of Twitter.