Iranian author and humorist Firoozeh Dumas to speak at ISU March 8

AMES, Iowa -- Firoozeh Dumas, author of "Funny in Farsi," will speak at Iowa State University on Monday, March 8. Her talk, "Laughing Without an Accent," will be at 8 p.m. in the Memorial Union Great Hall. Part of the university's and community's International Women's Day Celebration and Women's History Month, it is free and open to the public.

Dumas was born in Abadan, Iran, and moved to Southern California with her family in the 1970s. She grew up listening to her father, a former Fulbright Scholar, recount the many colorful stories of his life in both Iran and America, and decided to write her stories as a gift for her children. Her two memoirs are "Funny in Farsi" and "Laughing Without an Accent."

Dumas was a finalist for the prestigious Thurber Prize for American Humor, the first Middle Eastern woman to be considered for this honor. "Funny in Farsi" was a 2004 finalist for the PEN/USA award and a 2005 finalist for an Audie Award for best audio book. "Laughing Without an Accent" began as a one-woman show, opening to sold-out audiences.

"Funny in Farsi" is on the California Recommended Reading List for grades 6-12, and is used in many junior high, high schools and universities. Dumas' commentaries have been broadcast on NPR and published in the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle Magazine and Lifetime Magazine.

Dumas' lecture is cosponsored by the Ames Public Library, LAS International Programs, Margaret Sloss Women's Center, Women's Studies Program, World Languages and Cultures, the YWCA Ames-ISU and the Committee on Lectures, which is funded by the Government of the Student Body.

More information on ISU lectures is available at, or by calling (515) 294-9935.