"Aria Minu-Sepehr’s memoir about growing up in Iran before the fall of the Shah is an exquisitely told tale brimming with sensuality, humor, and humanity. Minu-Spehr vividly captures the intense yearning and bewilderment of childhood as he, like a modern-day Shahrazad, unravels a rich and unforgettable tapestry of true-life stories set in a country on the verge of revolution. We Heard the Heavens Then is a son’s eloquent tribute to his father and to the beloved country he had to leave behind."
– Mira Bartók, author of New York Times bestselling The Memory Palace
"We Heard the Heavens Then is an extraordinary story of a child who sees his Paradise turn into Hell, an exhilarating work that reveals the delusions of Shah’s regime about modernity and exposes the terrifying nature of the turbaned beards’ dogma. An intelligent, witty, honest and hilariously funny, but also heartbreaking memoir. A remarkable book written by a brilliant writer. A great read."
– Fadhil al-Azzawi, author of The Last of the Angels
“There are photographs that define a nation in a particular time. In his down-to-earth childhood memoir of Iran just before, during and after the revolution, Minu-Sepehr catches precisely the pulse of a country as it appears to hurl itself headlong into the abyss. And, especially, in the sympathetic portrayal of the author’s father, an Air Force General and jet fighter ace, we get a soaring view of what every Iranian has often imagined – of what might have been and wasn’t.”
– Salar Abdoh, author of The Poet Game and Opium
"The strength of We Heard the Heavens Then is Minu-Sepehr's keen eye and wealth of detail. He captures the exuberance, naiveté and anxiety of childhood, as well as a son's hero worship of his father."
– The Oregonian
"[A] Mournfully lyrical account of an evanescent privileged childhood on the eve of the Iranian Revolution....In this beautifully composed memoir of a vanished time, the author... reconstructs the increasingly fraught last days before his family was forced to flee their homeland, finding refuge in London and then America."
– Kirkus Reviews
"Written with the honesty and humor representative of childhood mixed with the longing and acceptance of an adult separated from his homeland, this memoir offers an insider's perspective on a country...that often remains a mystery to Western people."
– Publishers Weekly
“This gripping story—filled with humor and insights—is in the end a beautiful meditation on fatherhood, family, and the powerful draw of home.”
– Keith Scribner, author of The Oregon Experiment