The Little Book That Could.

When I wrote Sky of Red Poppies, it was to unload a story that had weighed heavy on my mind for decades. Having three American born and raised children - ones who knew little about their parent’s Iranian history - I hoped its cultural nuances and descriptions pertaining to my homeland would be my legacy to them. But my Iranian origin, especially in view of the recent political conflicts, had limited my expectations and I wasn’t prepared for the overwhelming response it continues to receive from readers.

I published this heartfelt story with no means of advertisement, though it is clear now that I had underestimatied the power of today’s readers. Little did I know that each satisfied reader would bring in ten more, and soon half the San Diego book clubs would be reading my little novel. Invitations started to pour in from libraries, bookstores, and even major universities such as UC Berkeley, San Francisco State and the University of Chicago! Before I knew it, it was my novel that introduced me to people and not the other way around.

Sometimes life gives us a chance to experience what we may have previously dismissed as cliché. For the past forty years, I’d heard such expressions as, “only in America,” or “land of opportunity,” and considered them to be words of the lucky few. Now living it, I see how such unsolicited success could only happen here. It's hard to imagine any other society welcoming an unknown author, from a background that they are conditioned to resent, and putting her on a pedestal just because they related to her emotional story and enjoyed her work.

So while the dream goes on, my Sky of Red Poppies is nominated for “One Book, One San Diego” along with two of the best books out there. The ultimate selection will be that of the San Diego community. Can this be the repeat of a Cinderella story? Is it possible for this little novel to climb to the top while a community stands behind it chanting, “We think you can”? Only time will tell. For now, I try to focus on the honor of being nominated alongside two great writers whose work I deeply admire.

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