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Rooftops of Tehran Selected as 2009-10 Villanova "One Book"

Author Mahbod Seraji's Visit Highlights Program Slate

Seraji to speak at Villanova University January 26

For Immediate Release
Dec. 10, 2009

VILLANOVA, Pa., Dec. 10, 2009 – The Villanova University community has joined together to read and explore the timely themes presented in Rooftops of Tehran – this year’s “One Book Villanova” selection. Rooftops of Tehran is the debut novel by author Mahbod Seraji, who will visit the University Jan. 26 to discuss his book.

The cornerstone event of the 2009-10 “One Book Villanova” Program, Seraji’s talk will be held at 7:30 p.m. in the Villanova Room of The Connelly Center. The event is free and open to the public. For details about the event, as well as information on the “One Book Villanova” Program, visit:

Set in 1970s Iran against the backdrop of the increasingly repressive reign of the Shah and his brutal secret police, Rooftops of Tehran interweaves a compelling coming of age story with the struggle for personal liberty and happiness. Infused with the rich traditions of Persian culture, the story invites readers to recognize and confront their feelings about a nation and its peoples that still command world attention today.

“We are excited to have selected Rooftops of Tehran as this year’s Villanova ‘One Book’,” said Joseph Lucia, Director of Villanova’s Falvey Memorial Library and “One Book Villanova” committee co-chairman. “Rooftops of Tehran provides a detailed look at Iranian life and culture at the very moment that Iranian political and social developments are once again at the center of international attention.”

“One Book Villanova” is a distinctive educational program that engages all segments of the campus community – students, staff and faculty – in activities presented throughout the academic year that explore dominant themes presented in a selected book. Discussion groups, public readings, special events and a One Book blog site enliven and extend the campus community’s examination of Rooftops of Tehran through the end of the spring semester.

“One Book Villanova” was inaugurated in 2005 with a community reading of The Kite Runner by Khalid Hosseini. Subsequent “One Book Villanova” selections include Blood Done Sign My Name by Timothy Tyson (2006), Left to Tell by Immaculée Ilibagiza (2007), and The Glass Castle, by Jeannette Walls (2008).

The “One Book Villanova” Program is made possible by a generous gift from Patricia H. Imbesi, a member of the University’s Board of Trustees. Imbesi is the mother of three Villanova University graduates.

The schedule of "One Book Villanova" events include:

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

"An Evening with Mahbod Seraji"
One Book Author - Mahbod Seraji, Rooftops of Tehran
1:00pm-2:00pm - Community Book Signing
6:00pm - Community Dinner - Dougherty Dining Hall
7:30pm - Author Talk - Villanova Room
Rooftops of Tehran Website:

Thursday, February 4, 2010

"The Iranian Revolution and the Iran Hostage Crisis After 30 Years"
Mark Bowden, author of Guests of the Ayatollah and Blackhawk Down

7:00pm - Talk followed by book signing - Villanova Room
Bowden Bio:

February 6 - February 8, 2010

Film Showing: Persepolis
Connelly Center Cinema
Saturday, February 6 at 7pm
Sunday, February 7 at 3:30pm and 7pm
Monday, February 8 at 7pm - followed by discussion with Nasser Chour, Department of Communication, Villanova University
Sponsored by Villanova University Cultural Films Series
This film, based on Marji Satrapi's autobiography, is a timely and timeless story of a young girl's life under the Islamic Revolution.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

"Women in Iran and the Middle East"
Trudy Rubin, Worldview Columnist, Philadelphia Inquirer

4:00pm - Falvey Memorial Library
Trudy Rubin Archive:

Villanova University, a co-educational Roman Catholic institution, was founded by the Order of Saint Augustine in 1842. A premier institution of higher education, Villanova provides a comprehensive education rooted in the liberal arts; a shared commitment to the Augustinian ideals of truth, unity and love; and a community dedicated to service to others. A wide variety of undergraduate and graduate degree programs are offered through the University’s four colleges: the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Villanova School of Business, the College of Engineering and the College of Nursing, as well as the Villanova School of Law. With a total enrollment that surpasses 10,000 undergraduate, graduate and law students, Villanova is the oldest and largest Catholic university in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.