Ho-hum, another TV show based on the "Orange County" experience. At least this one holds the promise of being something other than the usual rich & bitchen exploits of the Botoxed coastal-living set. Firoozeh Dumas, whose debut book Funny in Farsi: A Memoir of Growing Up Iranian in America was based on the Iranian-born author's tales of growing up in Newport Beach, reports on her website that ABC has a Funny in Farsi pilot going into production.
"This is the first step in a long process. If they like the pilot, it will become a series. Stay tuned!" Dumas writes.
Funny in Farsi, which Random House published in 2003, is based on stories from Dumas' childhood that she collected and wrote as a gift to her children. It would go on to make the Los Angeles Times and San Francisco Chronicle bestseller lists and become a finalist for the 2004 PEN/USA award and 2005 Audie Award for best audio book, which she lost to Bob Dylan. She was also the first Middle Eastern woman to be named a finalist for the Thurber Prize for American Humor, which she lost to Jon Stewart. "Even though, as Firoozeh's dad likes to point out, Jon Stewart wrote his book with a team of writers, while Firoozeh wrote hers, alone, before her children woke up for school," informs her online bio.
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The California Recommended Reading List, which many junior highs, high schools and universities rely on, includes Funny in Farsi, the Persian version of which is a bestseller in Iran. Dumas also writes commentaries that appear in the New York Times, other major newspapers and several national magazines. You can sometimes hear her on NPR. Her latest book of essays, Laughing Without an Accent, was published by Random House last year.