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When Skateboards will be Free (Penguin – Hamish Hamilton)

When Skateboards will be Free (Penguin – Hamish Hamilton)

The revolution is not only inevitable, it is imminent. It is not only imminent, it is quite imminent. And when the time comes, my father will lead it.

Saïd Sayrafiezadeh's Iranian-born father and American Jewish mother had one thing in common: their unshakable conviction that the workers' revolution was coming. Separated since their son was nine months old, they each pursued a dream of the perfect socialist society. Bouncing with his mother between makeshift Pittsburgh apartments, falling asleep at party meetings, longing for the luxuries he's taught to despise, Saïd waits for the revolution that never, ever arrives. 'Soon,' his mother assures him, while his long-absent father quixotically runs as a socialist candidate for president in an Iran about to fall under the ayatollahs. Then comes the Iranian hostage crisis of 1979...

The uproar that follows is the first time Saïd hears the word 'Iran' in school, and there he is suddenly forced to confront the combustible stew of his identity: as an American, an Iranian, a Jew, a socialist . . . and a middle-school kid who loves football and video games.

With a profound gift for capturing the absurd in life, and a deadpan wisdom that comes from surviving a surreal childhood in the Socialist Workers Party, Saïd Sayrafiezadeh has crafted an unsentimental, funny, heartbreaking memoir.

About the Author

Said Sayrafiezadeh

Said Sayrafiezadeh's writing has appeared in Granta, The Paris Review and Open City. He lives in New York.  His website is at