2017 Beatty Award Recipient: Firoozeh Dumas for It Ain’t So Awful, Falafel
California Library Association: It Ain’t So Awful, Falafel by Firoozeh Dumas and published by Clarion Books has been selected as the 2017 recipient of the California Library Association’s John and Patricia Beatty Award.
It Ain’t So Awful, Falafel is a coming of age story of Zomorod (Cindy) Yousefzadeh living in California’s Newport Beach in the late 1970s. The committee loved the honesty and humor of the voice of Zomorod living in California during the Iranian Revolution. Dumas weaved together a heartwarming story of an immigrant family that will win the hearts of many readers.
Upon hearing that Dumas won the award she said “As an Iranian-American, I am always being asked about camels and flying carpets. I don’t know much about camels but I do know that flying carpets exist; they are called library cards. Thank you to the librarians who voted for Zomorod and to John and Patricia Beatty, who clearly believed in the magic of books enough to create this award. The next time I walk into a library, I’m pretty sure I will hear a symphony (albeit playing quietly as not to disturb the other patrons.)”.
Firoozeh Dumas is the author of two New York Times bestselling memoirs, Funny in Farsi and Laughing Without An Accent. Her third book, It Ain’t So Awful, Falafel, based on her own experiences growing up Iranian in Southern California, is historical fiction for middle grade. Dumas has also written for the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Gourmet Magazine and many other publications. You may have heard her commentaries on NPR. Dumas believes that everyone has a story to tell and everyone’s story counts. She travels extensively on the lecture circuit, using humor to remind us that our commonalities far outweigh our differences. When not traveling or writing, she likes to spend time with her French husband, their three American children, and Nutella, the dog they rescued last year from Greece. Every member of her family, except for Nutella, is a bookworm.
2017 Award Committee
- Tiffany Bronzan, Committee Chair, Sonoma County Library
- Mary Dubbs, Oakland Public Library
- Dora Ho, Los Angeles Public Library
- Kate Hug, Oakland Public Library
- Rachel Kitzmann, Los Angeles Public Library
- Alana LaBeaf, Long Beach Public Library
- Michelle Meades, Glendale Public Library
- Cassandra Stearns,Burbank Public Library
- Cailin Yeager, Sonoma County Library