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  • John Murray
  • John Murray

Prisoner of Tehran: One Woman's Story of Survival Inside a Torture Jail

Marina Nemat

8 Reviews

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Iran, c 1970 to c 1980, Biography, Biography: general, Prose: non-fiction

An international bestseller, Prisoner of Tehran is the astonishing, true account of one woman s remarkable courage in the face of terror.

Brought up as a Christian, Marina Nemat s peaceful childhood in Tehran was shattered when the Iranian Revolution of 1979 ushered in a new era of Islamic rule. After complaining to her teachers about her Maths lessons being replaced by Koran study, Marina was arrested late one evening. She was taken to the notorious prison, Evin, where interrogation and torture were part of the daily routine. Aged sixteen, she was sentenced to death. Her prison guard snatched her from the firing squad bullets but exacted a shocking price in return marriage to him and conversion to Islam. Marina lived out her prison days as his secret bride, spending nights with him in a separate cell.

Marina struggled to reconcile her hatred towards Ali and her feelings of physical repulsion with the fact that he had saved her life. When Ali was murdered by his enemies from Evin, and saved Marina's life for a second time, her feelings were complicated even further. At last she was able to return home, to her family and her past life, but silence surrounded her time as a political prisoner and the regime kept her under constant surveillance. Marina's world had been changed forever and she questions whether she will ever escape Iran and its regime or be free of her memories of Evin.

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Praise for Prisoner of Tehran: One Woman's Story of Survival Inside a Torture Jail

  • 'A shockingly vivid picture of prison life' - Daily Mail

  • 'A dramatic account that takes us to the heart of a brutal . . . dictatorship' - Morning Star

  • 'Her story is unforgettable' - Janine de Giovanni, Vogue

  • 'Mesmerizing stuff' - Glamour

  • 'A gripping personal history' - New York Times

  • 'A moving and eloquent account of her life' - Sainsbury s Magazine, June issue

  • 'Nemat (tells) an extraordinary story of life in revolutionary Iran, of imprisonment, forced marriage and conversion to Islam' - Sue Baker, Publishing News

  • Like a harrowing Thousand and One Arabian Nights, Prisoner of Tehran is the story of Marina Nemat her unvarnished courage, her intrepid wisdom, her fight to save her integrity and her family in a world in which to be female is to be chattel. Written with the deft hands of a novelist, it is the portrait of a world only too real, where women's lives are cheap but not this one - Jacquelyn Mitchard, author of THE DEEP END OF THE OCEAN and CAGE OF STARS

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Marina Nemat

Marina Nemat was born in Tehran, and grew up during the Iranian revolution. She now lives in Canada with her husband and their two sons. PRISONER OF TEHRAN is her first book.

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