Tales of a socialist childhood

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To celebrate the paperback edition, the Brooklyn native, who grew up in Fort Greene but was kidnapped to Pittsburgh as a child, will read at powerHouse Arena in DUMBO on April 15.

Sayrafiezadeh holds no bars in the retelling of his childhood, complete with an Iranian father who abandoned him as an infant, a mother who was so committed to the Socialist Workers Party that she would drag young Said to meetings, and poverty so bad that even the longed-for skateboard of the book’s title was forever out of reach.

As an adult, Sayrafiezadeh fights materialistic desires, and is proud to say that he overcame a case of kleptomania, kicking a habit of stealing office supplies (which isn’t really stealing, is it?).

In a clever move, powerHouse will pair Sayrafiezadeh with Dani Shapiro, who recently released “Devotion,” a memoir about her own unique childhood, growing up in a deeply religious and traditional family.

Let the one-upsmanship behind.

Saïd Sayrafiezadeh and Dani Shapiro at powerHouse Arena [37 Main St. at Water Street in DUMBO, (718) 666-3049], April 15, 7 pm. For info, visit

— Meredith Deliso

Updated 2:11 pm, October 19, 2011
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