WHEN SKATEBOARDS WILL BE FREE : A MEMOIR OF A POLITICAL CHILDHOOD
by Said Sayrafiezadeh
The socialist revolution is coming. It is imminent. So believed Said's parents who were both comrades in the Socialist Workers Party. His father, Mahmoud, an Iranian and his mother, Martha, a Jewish American, were adamant that eliminating capitalism would dissolve suffering.
When Said was nine months old, his parents separated due to their desire to find that perfect socialist society. He spent his childhood growing up poor, with his mother, in a whole series of derelict apartments in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Their poverty was self-inflicted. Martha, who majored in literature in college and dreamed of becoming a writer, worked for 30 years as a secretary at Carnegie Mellon. (Her brother, Mark Harris, was a novelist and best known for Bang the Drum Slowly.) Mahmoud, a mathematics professor at a university, remained absent from his son's life persuing the fight that he intended to lead.
When the hostage crisis surfaces, in Iran, Said is confronted with quite an identity complex and ends up losing friends by espousing the familiar rhetoric that has been ingrained in him.
When Skateboards Will Be Free is a fantastic memoir. The writing draws you in from the first sentence and never lets you go.