Kamin Mohammadi and her family left Iran at the height of the 1979 Revolution, in the knowledge that they might never see many of their friends and relatives again. Only after eighteen years did she return to the lost country of her childhood. THE CYPRESS TREE is Kamin’s account of her return to Iran, and of her rediscovery of her country’s culture and of her surviving relations.
This is a personal history that is also a country’s history: the story of three generations of Kamin’s family – their fortunes, tragedies, adventures and romances – but also the story of how modern Iran came into being.
"Her descriptions are so incredibly lush you feel as much as read them - I could smell the cardamom in the chai, the camellias in the garden. Here is a portrait of a country completely at odds with the media's portrayals: the sensuous, intellectual and social Iran that Mohammadi left behind... in the author's nostalgic depiction, one finds both a world that has passed away and one being born again." - Taiye Selasi, author of Ghana Must Go
"THE CYPRESS TREE is vivid testimony to Kamin Mohammadi's ebullient, irrepressible family whose courage to endure carries them through revolution, exile and return to triumphant survival. Devoid of self-pity and full of grace, the Mohammadi family motto might as well be: “Whatever doesn't kill me, makes me stronger.” A memoir to inspire." - Aminatta Forna
"The heartfelt tale of a family shaped by the tumultuous drama of twentieth century Iran, THE CYPRESS TREE is a profoundly affecting meditation on the shattering experience of exile." - Justin Marozzi
"A fascinating insight on a topic much discussed but rarely understood from a human perspective. Recommended reading for anyone with an interest in the Middle East." - Image
"Deftly weaving in Iran's history, Mohammadi has created a tender account of the culture." - Harper's Bazaar
"I cannot recommend this book highly enough." - Nassim Assefi, author of Aria