Firoozeh’s follow-up to her freshman bestseller Funny in Farsi, is not quite as funny. Laughing Without an Accent is a more mature book, filled with stories of Firoozeh’s adulthood, instead of her childhood.
If read this book expecting it to be as funny as her first book, you’ll be disappointed. If you read this book trying to understand how a Persian woman, married to a French man is trying to raise their children and live in a diverse population, then you’ll be satisfied. A few of her stories get repetitive, especially when you see the same exact sentence in 2 or more chapters. But, even the repetitions add a different spin and fill in some gaps to a previously told story. One chapter I loved included a monkey jumping on Firoozeh’s balcony when she was five years old, and also a lesson to be learned from the story about experimenting with new foods in different countries.
Its not laugh out loud writing, its more shake your head and wonder. Mostly at the people around Firoozeh, racist teachers and difficult Iranian governments.
The book is a quick read, but with a good chunk of political and social commentary. It will probably hit home for a lot of Persian-Americans, and other Middle East cultures, since many of the cultural, filial sentiments are the same (ie. Middle Easterns love to feed people. Its our number one hobby in my opinion). It is also a more toned down way for other cultures to read and learn that not all Middle Eastern people are terrorists. There is a large number out there are hard-working, good, decent human beings.