A stash of historic letters is the starting point for this intimate view of life in pre-Revolutionary Iran. The authors, Jackie and Bahman Shahzadi, use excerpts of their old letters to peer into the past and examine the relationship that became a 35-year marriage. For young, American-born Jackie, the challenges of adapting to life in Iran were complicated by marrying into Zoroastrianism, a religion forbidding both conversion and interfaith marriage. Their life in Iran spans the political life of the Shah from coronation to overthrow. This conversational narrative chronicles the effects of these outside influences on this bicultural union, including, ultimately, exile from Iran in the midst of the Revolution.
Bahman Shahzadi was born the fourth child and only son to a Zoroastrian family in Yazd, Iran. Graduating at the top of his class with a B.S. in electrical engineering from Tehran University, Bahman was awarded a full scholarship by the Iranian Government to obtain his M.S. and Ph.D. in electrical engineering at the University of Wisconsin in the U.S., where he met Jackie. Employment as an Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering at Tehran University was followed by similar faculty positions at Tehran Polytechnic, and later, at the California State University at Long Beach, California.
Jackie was born Jacqueline Buckman, the eldest of four children, in Stamford, Connecticut. She received a B.A. in Sociology from Drew University, Madison, N.J. followed by a M.A. in Sociology from the University of Wisconsin, where she met Bahman. In Iran, she was employed as an instructor of English in several universities and institutions, over nearly 12 years. Returning to the U.S. in 1979, she earned an M.S. and Ph.D. in Education from the University of Southern California, and worked directing educational programs for blind adults. She is currently on the staff and faculty of the University of Phoenix, Southern California Campus.
Married in Iran on January 9, 1968, Bahman and Jackie have a son, Ramin, and a daughter, Susanne, both born in Iran. In 1979, during the Iranian Revolution, the family relocated to California, where they continue to reside.