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Gerhold Lecture Features Novelist Dumas
Capital will welcome gifted storyteller and award-winning novelist Firoozeh Dumas on Thursday, October 20, as part of the Gerhold Lecture Series in the Humanities Endowment. Dumas is best known for her book Funny in Farsi: A Memoir of Growing Up Iranian in America, which was turned into a sitcom by the American Broadcasting Company. At 3 pm in the Bridge of Learning, Dumas will meet with Capital students for a Q&A session. From 5 to 6:30 pm there will be a reception in The Schumacher Gallery, followed at 7:30 pm in Mees Hall by a free public lecture titled “Laughing Without An Accent.” The evening will end with a book signing.A very animated speaker, Dumas is a Persian-American writer born and raised in Iran. She moved to Southern California in the 1970s. She is best known for her novel Funny in Farsi, which was turned into a sitcom by the American Broadcasting Company. President Jimmy Carter called the book a “… humorous and introspective chronicle of a life filled with love – of family, country, and heritage.” Her other books, Laughing Without an Accent and It Ain’t So Awful, Falafel are seasoned with a great humor. Dumas grew up listening to her father, a former Fulbright Scholar, recount the many colorful stories of his life in both Iran and America. In 2001, with no prior writing experience, she decided to write her stories as a gift for her two children. Funny in Farsi was on the bestseller lists and was a finalist for the PEN/USA award in 2004 and Audie Award for best audio book in 2005. She also was a finalist for the prestigious Thurber Prize for American Humor, and is the first Middle Eastern woman ever to be considered for this honor. In 2008, Dumas received the Spirit of America Award. The Mary Catherine Gerhold Annual Lecture in the Humanities at Capital University was established by Edward L. and Mary Catherine Gerhold to promote peace and human understanding through higher education. Funds from the endowment also support symposia, conferences, study projects and other scholarly activities in Mrs. Gerhold’s honor. The couple also established an endowed chair in the humanities at Capital. They were longtime Bexley residents, and Edward Gerhold was a lifelong Lutheran. The Gerholds were awarded honorary alumni status in 1996.