Parvin, Manoucher 1934-
PARVIN, Manoucher 1934-
Born 1934, in Tehran, Iran. Ethnicity: "Iranian/American." Education: University of Toledo, B.S.E.E., 1959; Columbia University, Ph.D., 1969. Hobbies and other interests: Chess, various sports, classical music, reading and composing poetry, reading science.
Home—4601 Ranchwood Rd, Akron, OH 44333. E-mail—[email protected].
Barnard School for Boys, New York, NY, chairman of math department, 1963-65; Columbia University, New York, NY, lecturer, 1967-69; City University of New York, Hunter College, New York, NY, assistant professor of economics, beginning 1969; Emory University, visiting professor of economics, 2000-03.
Society for Iranian Studies (president), Middle East Economic Association.
Many academic awards and honors.
Cry for My Revolution, Iran, Mazda Publishers (Costa Mesa, CA), 1987.
(Coeditor with Hooshang Amirahmadi) Post-Revolutionary Iran, Westview Press (Boulder, CO), 1988.
Avicenna and I: The Journey of Spirits, Blind Owl Press (Costa Mesa, CA), 1996.
Dardedel: Rumi, Hafez and Love in New York, Permanent Press (Sag Harbor, NY), 2003.
Author of numerous scholarly works in all fields of social sciences.
WORK IN PROGRESS:
A novel on brain/mind relation; a book of poems, Cosmological Accent; a novel, Fear of Truth.
In addition to his work as an economist and social scientist, Manoucher Parvin has written a number of works focusing on the history and literature of his country of origin, Iran. His Cry for My Revolution, Iran is a novelistic treatment of the tumultuous events that drove the Shah from power. Parvin focuses on three participants who first come together at Columbia University in a class taught by Professor Pirooz, an Iranian expatriate who yearns for a reform of the Shah's brutal, corrupt regime. Ali Keshavarz is the young radical who feels that Pirooz's reforms don't go nearly far enough. Eric Saunders is the young conservative who feels the professor is wrong, and even dangerous. And Sara Patrick, the object of desire for both Ali and Eric, is the journalistic observer, interested but detached. Years later, the three wind up in Iran during the overthrow of the Shah, Ali as a revolutionary who will find the new regime as troublesome as the old, Eric as a CIA agent, and Sara as a reporter. "Parvin has written a novel that is worth the strong attention of concerned Americans," wrote Choice reviewer G. O. Carey. "Although the language engages in a polemic against despotism, it does so without sacrificing the artistic purpose of raising awareness about the higher implications of politics. This fervent and articulate book is essential to anyone who wishes to go beyond American newspaper and television accounts for a truer picture of the relations between the United States and Iran following World War II, for cliches do not explain that poisoned marriage," concluded Literary Review contributor Thomas Filbin. Val Moghadam wrote in the Guardian, "Manoucher Parvin has written a sensitive and passionate historical novel about Iran's revolution and revolutionaries. It will surely take its place among the best of third world political literature. Cry for My Revolution, Iran is a big book that treats a big subject in a highly readable and unforgettable way." Parvin has also coedited Post-Revolutionary Iran, a collection of academic pieces on the aftermath of the Iranian Revolution.
From the tumults of modern Iran, Parvin turned to the timeless wisdom of Ibn Sina, the medieval Persian philosopher known to Europeans as Avicenna. In Avicenna and I: The Journey of Spirits, Parvin tells the story of two troubled lovers who visit the ancient city of Hamadan, where Avicenna lies buried, and learn from him the secrets of mental and spiritual fulfillment. Even more whimsical is Parvin's Dardedel: Rumi, Hafez, and Love in New York, a novel-in-verse. It's the story of an unhappy Iranian academic named Pirooz (like the professor in Cry for My Revolution, Iran) who travels from New York to the Sonora Desert in Arizona in the vague hope of alleviating a despair that has crept into his soul by killing himself. There he encounters two cacti, the reincarnated forms of the famed Persian poets, wise Rumi and passionate Hafez. In a freewheeling, intimate heart-to heart (a "dardedel" in Persian) they talk Pirooz out of his depression, and he returns to New York. There he encounters Hafez again, this time as a curly-haired cabbie who gives him a ride, and Rumi, incarnated in various New Yorkers. Enchanted by his new surroundings, Hafez is unable to conform to some of its strictures and finds himself on trial for statutory rape when his 15-year-old girlfriend gets pregnant. The trial turns into a fanciful meditation on love in the face of society's laws. "Some of the meditative conversations fall flat, Parvin's dialogues are mostly entertaining, and the author wisely sticks to a lighthearted take on his two legendary reincarnations," concluded a Publishers Weekly reviewer. "A witty, insightful clash of cultural perspectives," concluded a Kirkus Reviews contributor.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Choice, December, 1988, G. O. Carey, review of Cry for My Revolution, Iran, p. 635.
Kirkus Reviews, December 1, 2002, review of Dardedel: Rumi, Hafez and Love in New York, p. 1725.
Literary Review, fall, 1996, Thomas Filbin, "The Expatriate Memory: Four Iranian Writers in America," pp. 172-177.
Publishers Weekly, February 3, 2003, review of Dardedel, p. 57.
West Coast Review of Books, 1988, Christine Watson, review of Cry for My Revolution, Iran, p. 43.