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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

ARC Arrival: Lori's Song by Lori Foroozandeh



Lori's Song by Lori Foroozandeh

I received this book through Bostick Communications.

About the book: Lori Foroozandeh is a survivor. Her childhood was a horror of neglect, abuse, and molestation, but she was able to escape it at the age of 15. When she was 27, she married an Iranian man and moved to his native country. And then the unthinkable happened. On the day after the World Trad Center bombings, Lori was taken captive and placed in a paramilitary camp, where she was beaten, starved, raped repeatedly, and threatened with death. Even worse--after her rescue, Lori found that her story was considered too politically charged to make public, and she was forced to sign a nondisclosure order before the American Embassy would allow her to enter the United States, Lori's Song, published by Outskirts Press, is her story.

Lori was removed from her family at the age of six months. She was covered with cigarette burns and had been living in a dark closet all her short life. At the age of ten, her adoptive brother began to sexually molest her, and Lori was forced to emancipate herself at the age of 15. The years that followed were difficult; she fell into a pattern of self-destruction that included drug abuse. She had a son, Douglas, but eventually had to leave his father to escape his physical abuse--and because he had slept with her sister. By the time she met her future husband, Lori felt she was on her way to healing and a more sane way of life.

Lori was attending Northern Michigan University in Marquette when she met Mohammad Foroozandeh. As a single mother trying to pursue an education, she thought that Mohammad would be the ideal husband, someone who would love and respect her, and she chose to overlook his drug use. After two years of marriage, he convinced her to move to Iran, assuring her that she could pursue her career there. Lori had left her son with his natural father, thinking that she'd be able to return to the States and visit him soon, but the 14-year-old was filled with bitterness and confusion, and rebelled by committing armed robbery at the age of 17. He will be released in 2010.

Being in Iran was a difficult adjustment for the American woman, especially knowing that her son needed her. The Iranian customs were oppressive, and Lori's new husband became more and more demanding and more and more violent.

The events of 9/11 prompted Mohammad to purchase two bus tickets out of the country. He felt Iran was too dangerous and that they should return to the United States. But before they could escape, armed guards attacked, and captured Lori, taking her to a POW camp in the hills of Iran. There she was tortured and beaten; starved and raped. She watched in horror as a fellow prisoner was killed and her body set on fire. For six weeks, the nightmare continued.

Finally, the family of one of Lori's fellow captives was able to bribe their way out of the camp, and after two days Lori found herself in Ostandary, a place that helps out foreigners in emergency situations. But her freedom was still out of reach. An Iranian woman is not allowed to leave the country without her husband's written permission--and Lori's husband was nowhere to be found.

The American Embassy in Dubai stepped in and paid Lori's way back to the States, but only after she agreed to take a lie detector test and sign a nondisclosure agreement. When she eventually found her way back home, Lori found that "freedom of speech" was not so free. She tried to speak to a reporter from CNN, and was told that her story was too volatile for a country still reeling from 9/11, and that the U.S. couldn't afford a war with Iran at the time. Lori reluctantly complied and, frustrated, maintained her silence for many years. She required a great deal of physical and emotional therapy to deal with the injuries and trauma she suffered, and due in large part to the love and support of her fiance, John, Lori was able to overcome her long-term substance abuse. She realized that telling her story would be the final piece of the puzzle of her recovery, and thus, Lori's Song was born. At 244 pages, it is a testament of the strength and determination of one woman in the face of adversity. (Outskirts Press)

About the author: Lori Foroozandeh lives in Jackson, Michigan with her fiance, John. She is a member of the Iran Politics Club out of San Diego, founded by Ahreeman X, with a following of approximately one million Iranian exiles. Lori has made a major impression n Iranian exiles and those desiring the repression of the "old Iran." Her story is also mentioned in the book, Victimization of the Farsi, Arab, Turanian and Central and Western Asian Peoples by Peter Khan Zendran. (Outskirts Press)

Lori's Song
Publisher/Publication Date: Outskirts Press, July 2009
ISBN: 978-1-4327-3829-7
244 pages


5 comments:

Heidi V said...

She sounds like a hero! I'm going to keep my eye out for this one...

nfmgirl said...

I just got this review copy as well. I'll be eager to see what you think!

Sheila (bookjourney) said...

This sounds like an amazing read!

Sheila Deeth said...

Wow! Sounds horrifying and amazing.

imbookingit said...

I decided not to request this one because it sounds so intense, but it also sounds really good. I'm eager to see what people say about it, I may have to pick it up later...

I'm looking forward to your review!

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