When creating and writing Persia Blues, I drew from a lot of sources, including my own memories of growing up in Iran, pre and post revolution. I also incorporated bits and pieces from my parents’ experiences, stories told by family members and friends, and my 2 visits back to Iran as an adult. The first of those was in the summer of 2000, and unfortunately the pictures I took were of the old school variety, i.e. not digital. One day I’d like to scan them all in and be able to share them more easily.
But on my second trip I had a digital camera, and although we spent all of our time in Tehran, and not some of the locations depicted in the book (Shiraz, Persepolis, etc.) I thought it might be fun to share some of those pics. Think of these as references, inspiration, or supplementary material used by Brent and I during the creation of the book.
Here’s a shot of north Tehran, nestled at the base of the Alborz mountain range. This isn’t a setting used in the book, but I just wanted to share this pic of where I grew up as a kid. Of course, when I was living there, most of those high rises didn’t exist:
This is a small bazaar in north Tehran. The one depicted in the book is the much larger, historical Vakil Bazaar In Shiraz, but you get the idea. By the way, the stylishly dressed woman in the foreground is my mom:
There’s a scene at the beginning of the book that shows Minoo navigating her way expertly around the challenging act of driving in Iran. This picture shows what’s considered light traffic in Tehran. And this is in the suburbs, not the heart of downtown:
There’s another scene at the beginning of the book where Minoo gets into an altercation with the Morality Police. Here’s one of their vans:
I was admonished by the “officers” who, unbeknownst to me, were standing behind me when I took this shot. They said I shouldn’t be taking pictures of state vehicles. I played the dumb tourist role and apologized, saying I was taking a picture of the public art sculpture in front of their car.
Next: pics from the Museum of Fine Arts, depicting some of the historical elements used in the book.