Drawn to the exoticism and mystery of names on a map of Iran - Isfahan, Shiraz, Meshed, Kerman, Khorassan - Michael Carroll embarked on a journey that took him through the heart of the country from the Taurus mountains to the Gulf of Oman. He travelled during a relatively calm, but nonetheless pivotal, period in Iran's recent history - in the years following the CIA-led coup of 1953. Carroll spends much time in the bustling tea houses of Isfahan, where he observes the richness of Iranian life in microcosm and visits a Tehran that would be unrecognisable today - a sleepy town pushing towards modernity with its shiny 1950's American cars and social elites exploring the lifestyles of a newly discovered West. From the Zagros Mountains to the Caspian shore and Persepolis to the holy city of Qom, he explores countless mosques, tombs and palaces, goes in pursuit of an elusive dervish, bargains for Silk Road jade and forges strong and lasting friendships with his Iranian travelling companions. Carroll's beautifully written narrative is adorned with colourful episodes from Iran's long and momentous history and enriched with anecdotes from his travels.
A forgotten gem of travel writing, "From a Persian Tea House" is a literary period piece and a luminous portrait of a country that has since changed beyond all recognition.
Michael Carroll was born in England in 1935. He was educated at Harrow and Cambridge but spent much of his early life in India. While at Cambridge he travelled widely during his holidays. He is also author of Gates of the Wind, the story of his time spent on the Greek island of Skopelos.
'Mr Carroll is a born traveller. He is hungry for strangeness. He is tough without being coarse; amused and unpretentious. Above all he can write.'
The romance of the book is the traditional romance of a perceptive young man, happy to soak himself in the life of a foreign country and evoke it with rich, descriptive writing.'
The New Statesman'
He has a natural gift of writing and especially for translating the observations of a quick eye into a telling phrase.'
Times Literary Supplement'
Describes all he saw and experienced in the most entrancing detail and with great good humour. A lovely, gracious book.'
Press and Journal'
A travel writer of rare charm and perception. His travels reveal observation combined with sympathy, persistence with humour.'
Western MailABRAR'Carroll's beautifully written narrative is adorned with colourful episodes from Iran's long and momentous history and enriched with anecdotes from his travels. A forgotten gem of travel writing, From a Persian Tea House is a literary period piece and a luminous portrait of a country that has since changed beyond all recognition.'
Imprint: Tauris Parke Paperbacks
Publisher: I.B.Tauris & Co Ltd.Paperback
Publication Date: 29 Jul 2007
Number of Pages: 224
Illustrations: 12pp 1/1 plates