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The Lonely War

Because Nazila Fathi has been a journalist for the NY Times and also reported for Time and Agence France-Presse, her writing is factual, accurate and reliable. The Lonely War is her first-hand account of her life in Iran, her home and birth country until she was no longer safe. It is one womans account of the struggle for modern Iran.

The story begins when the author is nine years old and near the beginning of the revolution. Her curiosity made her realise at an early age that journalism was a career that she wanted to pursue with a passion. She was given a note book and began to take notes to cement her understanding of the local scene.

There were many times as an adult she went out onto the streets to see and record demonstrations and citizen’s protests. These times exposed her to the possibility of physical violence, watching physical violence, and of being photographed. The first-hand accounts of many political activities are also backed up by You Tube videos and newspaper articles. Interviews that the author conducted are also related here.

The author does not expand on her personal life in this story. She relates an incident when a man asked her out for a picnic. They were caught by the police sitting on a rug eating. It was only her father’s intervention, explaining that they were to be married, that saved them both from sixty lashes. She did go on to marry this man.

When her house is staked out, her Nanny is caught spying on her and her photo has been given to snipers, she and her husband decide it is the time to leave their country and live in Canada. Although they would dearly love to show the children their homeland, it is still not safe for them to do so.

For people who are interested in an inside view of how communities and politics can cause such upheavals, that torture and deprivation are the only way to control the masses, this is a must read. It is an intimate look at Iran’s past the main political characters, the regime and most of all the courage of the people. Seen through the eyes of her house maid, her family and others, this story is easy to read and powerful in its factual content.


Author Nazila Fathi
Publisher Basic Books
ISBN 9780465069996