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Download My Life as a Traitor: An Iranian Memoir Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample My Life as a Traitor: An Iranian Memoir, by Zarah Ghahramani Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (370 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Zarah Ghahramani Narrator: Marjanne Doré Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Zarah Ghahramani was born in Tehran in 1981, two years after Ayatollah Khomeini returned to Iran to establish the Islamic Republic. Her life changed suddenly in 2001 when, after having taken part in student demonstrations, she was arrested—literally snatched off the street by secret police—and charged with “inciting crimes against the people of the Islamic Republic of Iran.”

While imprisoned in Tehran’s notorious Evin Prison, she faced brutal interrogation, her head was shaved, and she was beaten. After being released, she was forbidden to return to the university and soon realized that she had no future in her native land.

Robert Hillman, an Australian writer, met and befriended Zarah in Iran in 2003 and helped her to escape to Australia, where she now has permanent residency. My Life as a Traitor is a beautifully written memoir of Zarah’s life in Iran, revealing the human face behind the turmoil of the modern Middle East.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “[Ghahramani] records, in harrowing detail, the dire consequences of indulging her defiant ‘pink-shoe sensibility’... Ghahramani writes in a spare, eloquent prose style that reflects both her child’s view of the world before arriving at Evin and the pared-down perceptions of her prison experience.”

    New York Times

  • “In Ghahramani’s graceful, chilling memoir, her naïvete gives way to fearless insights about her country and herself. Questioning the status quo made her a traitor to a fundamentalist regime, but in this searingly honest, brave book, she’s nothing short of heroic.”


  • “[Ghahramani] recounts her beatings with dignified anger in this vivid, sometimes horrifying memoir... Her strength: she doesn’t let outrage overtake the striking feminine vitality of her storytelling.”

    Entertainment Weekly

  • “Chilling...Riveting...My Life as a Traitor is compelling for its seemingly unvarnished glimpse at the experiences of an ordinary young woman in post-1979 Iran...The memoir illuminates truths about inflexible and dictatorial regimes.”

    San Francisco Chronicle

  • “Married and now living in Australia, Ghahramani has had time to reflect. In this memoir, she does so, evoking both the beauty of her culture and the horror of its regime.”

    New York Daily News

  • “We think something like that could never happen to us. But it happened to Zarah Ghahramani just a few years ago in Iran.”

    Philadelphia  Inquire

  • “Scenes from a happy family life and a spirited adolescence alternate with the prison experiences in this multilayered account…Graphic and powerful as her treatment of torturous imprisonment is, Ghahramani retains an irrepressible lightness... Her straightforward style, elegant in its simplicity, has resonance and appeal beyond a mere record.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Ghahramani’s shockingly honest recollections grimly complement Marina Nemat’s account of her ordeal at Evin in the early 1980s…reminding us of how little has changed for women in Iran.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “Narrator Marjanne Dorée speaks in three languages, each appropriate to the context: perfect American English for the author’s words, English with a genuine Farsi accent when Iranians are speaking, and Farsi for Persian names and places. Her linguistic skill brings a picturesque authenticity to each situation. Her gentle and taciturn voice can switch from shocking, when recounting the guards’ profanities, to warm, when describing the author’s mother and father. Ghahramani’s vehicle of placing herself in the milieu of her country’s turmoil creates a colorful self-portrait.”


  • A San Francisco Chronicle Best Book of 2008

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Jonnie | 2/19/2014

    " Wish I could give 1/2 stars. I think this is really 3.5 stars. It is better than 3 stars but not quite 4 stars. It was an interesting, quick read so I rounded up. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Kendra | 2/14/2014

    " This was a very good memoir about a girl who was thrown in one of the worst prisons in the world, for simply speaking out against her government. It is a thrilling read, even more so because it's a true story. A very fascinating read, especially if you like biography or memoirs. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Secor74 | 2/10/2014

    " This was a fascinating and true story about the imprisonment of a young Iranian woman who had particiapated in a protest. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Krissy | 1/28/2014

    " a painful glimpse into the repercussions of having a different opinion in a country where there is only one acceptable way to think. "

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About the Author

Zarah Ghahramani was born in Tehran in 1981. After her release from prison, she moved to Australia. My Life as a Traitor is her first book.

About the Narrator

Marjanne Dorée is an actress of Iranian descent. After moving around several countries, her parents settled in Seattle in the 1980s. She lived there until the age of eighteen then moved to New York to attend a drama conservatory. Upon graduation she moved to New York City, where she now lives and works as an actress in theater, film, and television.