A Beginner's Guide to Acting English, Paperback
5 out of 5 (1 rating)


It's 1977 and life in Iran is becoming unpredictable. The Shah will be overthrown and events are about to take place on the world stage. But for five-year-old Shappi Khorsandi all this means is that she must flee, leaving behind a mad extended Iran clan and everything she has ever known.

Shappi and her beloved brother Peyvand arrive with their parents in London - all cold weather and strange food - without a word of English.

If adapting to a new culture isn't troubling enough, it soon becomes clear that the Ayatollah's henchmen are in pursuit.

With the help of MI5, Shappi's family go into hiding.

So apart from checking under the family car for bombs every morning, Shappi's childhood is like any other kids' - swings in the park, school plays, kiss-chase and terrorists. 'An extraordinary story...really funny and warm' Graham Norton


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Ebury Publishing
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Memoirs
  • ISBN: 9780091924775



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(charity shop, 26 November 2011)The comedian's early years, from the time she moved with her family from Iran to England, with refugee status and a father who was wanted by the Ayatollah's regime and was at serious risk, yet kept publishing satirical articles and sheltering his fellow-countrypeople. The politics are all seen from a very well portrayed child's perspective, and the fact that for every struggle to explain fishfingers to her mum there's a racist incident at school or a menacing phone call give this book an edge and emotional depth that I wasn't entirely expecting. A good read.

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