Marina Nemat was born in 1965 in Tehran, Iran. Marina Nemat grew up Russian Orthodox in Iran and was in high school when the Shah was overthrown by the Islamic Revolution of Ayatollah Khomeini. She was outspoken in opposing the regime's policies and at the age of 16, was arrested and thrown into Evin, Iran's notorious political prison, where she was tortured and came very close to execution. "There were (and are) thousands of prisoners in Evin prison, and, in the eighties, the vast majority of us were teenagers". She suffered here for a very long time. "I had lost my family, my religion, my freedom, my dignity, and even my name. How much can you take away from a person before she crumbles into dust?" She came to Canada in 1991 and has called it home ever since. In Canada, Nemat worked at Swiss Chalet while secretly writing her harrowing life story as a therapeutic diary. She is currently teaching a creative writing course in Farsi at the University of Toronto's School of Continuing Studies. Her memoir The Prisoner of Tehran is an international bestselling book and was a favorite on Canada Reads, though it was strategically voted out first. Keep your eyes open for Gina Macdonalds second guest review featuring The Prisoner of Tehran!