Book > Modern Non-fiction > FRED KASHANI'S HERO PIZZA BY SHIRIN BOZORGI
At the heart of Fred
Kashani’s novel, Hero Pizza, is the classic theme of cultural and generational
conflict. In this humorous novel Mohammed 'Mo' Shirazi, is a young
artist who decides to visit his traditional Iranian parents in Los
Angeles on his way to an art exhibition in Tokyo. When he arrives from New York where he moved
to practice art and escape from his parent's traditional Iranian ways he
finds his parents have no interest in recognizing his new found independence.
Mo finds the only way he can
spend time with his father is to work at the family pizza restaurant. As the
result of Mo’s desire to please his father he soon finds himself delivering
pizzas in a superhero costume. This leads to increasingly farcical encounters
that climaxes with Mo being trapped on a garage roof by angry child.
While the story focuses
mostly on Mo’s relationship with his father he does end up having lunch with
his mother. What he thinks will be a pleasant respite from his father’s
demanding chores turns out to be a different nightmare. After his mother
finishes criticizing his manners and clothes, she tries to pressure him into an
arranged marriage with a distant relative.
Kashani does a remarkable
job in expressing Mo’s inner conflicts. Much of Mo’s anguish is the result of his
struggle to please his parents while simultaneously trying to maintain his own individuality
and dignity. He is also trying to reconcile his Iranian-ness with his American-ness
as he finds himself trapped between these two cultures.
Kashani was born and raised in Los Angeles, California.
Hero Pizza is his second novel. His first novel, Poetry Lessons, was published
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