In the summer of 2009, journalist Maziar Bahari stumbled back to his solitary prison cell. He’d been slapped, punched and kicked until his legs were black with bruises. His captors told him he’d be dead within a week.
And yet he laughed, he roared.
The questions his interrogator had asked.
“What is your connection to Anton Chekhov?”
And, more bizarrely, “Who is Pauly Shore?
His imprisonment in Tehran’s feared Evin Prison had become a black, absurdist comedy, as he recounts in his newly published memoir, Then They Came for Me. It’s a gripping story that weaves his family’s history of incarceration by Iranian rulers with his own. His father, once a member of the communist party Tudeh, was jailed by the Shah of Iran in the 1950s. His sister, Maryam, spent six years in prison during Ayatollah Khomeini’s reign 30 years later.