Book Launch: They Said They Wanted Revolution by Neda Toloui-Semnani in conversation with Porochista Khakpour and Susie Banikarim

Book Launch: They Said They Wanted Revolution by Neda Toloui-Semnani in conversation with Porochista Khakpour and Susie Banikarim

Friday Apr 15, 2022
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

28 Adams Street (Corner of Adams & Water Street across from the Archway)
Brooklyn , NY 11201

This event will be LIVE at POWERHOUSE Arena! RSVP below.

PLEASE NOTE: COVID protocol will be observed and seating may be limited. Proof of vaccination is required to attend.

About the Book.

After losing her father to a political execution when she was only three years old, Neda Toloui-Semani was just thirty when she lost the other half of her Iranian revolutionary bloodline. In the wake of her mother’s death, she embarks on a journey to uncover the hidden truths in her parents’ life before their marriage, their impact as revolutionaries, and their Iranian heritage.

With her experience as a reporter, Neda conducted extensive interviews with friends and family to provide the backbone for THEY SAID THEY WANTED REVOLUTION: A Memoir of My Parents. This memoir traces back to the 1950’s and captures the
struggles her parents faced, moving through time by tracing the events of the Iranian Revolution leading up to her escape with her pregnant mother as her father faced the trial that would solidify his unjust execution.

At the forefront of her reporting are Neda’s parents who met as spirited student activists at University of California, Berkeley in the tumultuous late 1960’s. As tensions grew in both America and their homeland, they made the decision to move back to Iran in the late ‘70’s. In the aftermath of the Amol uprising of 1982, Neda’s father had to face the consequences of his decision in choosing the Revolution, and in the decades to follow, Neda had to deal with the grief of losing him and trying to answer the question of why her father made the choices that he made. THEY SAID THEY WANTED REVOLUTION is a young woman’s journey of discovering her family’s history and reconciling with the loss of both her parents. Neda brings history to life and connects it to some of the present-day revolutions, as seen in the storming of the Capitol Building, an event that occurred during her pregnancy with her own son in a manner that makes this gripping narrative impossible to ignore.


About the Author.

NEDA TOLOUI-SEMNANI is a journalist and Emmy award-winning writer and producer whose work has appeared in various online and print publications, including the Washington Post, New York, LA Review of Books, The Baffler, The WeekBuzzFeed, and Roll Call among others. Her work has also been featured in The Rumpus and This American Life. She holds a Master of Science in Gender and Social Policy from the London School of Economics and Political Science and a Masters in Fine Arts in Nonfiction from Goucher College. In 2017, she was named a NYFA fellow in Nonfiction. She is from Washington, D.C., now based in Brooklyn where she lives with a small dog and a large cat. For more information visit


About the Moderators.


Porochista Khakpour’s debut novel Sons and Other Flammable Objects (Grove, 2007) was a New York Times Editor’s Choice, her second novel The Last Illusion (Bloomsbury, 2014) was a 2014 “Best Book of the Year” according to NPR and many more, and her third book Sick: A Memoir (Harper Perennial, 2018) was a Best Book of 2018 according to Time Magazine, The Paris Review, LitHub, and more. Her most recent book, the essay collection Brown Album: Essays on Exile & Identity (Vintage, May 2020)has been praised in The New York Times, O: Oprah Magazine, TIME, and many more. Her next book, Tehrangeles: A Novel, is forthcoming from Pantheon. She is a contributing editor at Evergreen Review and lives in NYC.


Susie Banikarim is an Emmy award-winning journalist and producer. She was most recently Head of Global News and EVP at Vice News and has run newsrooms from Gizmodo Media Group to The Daily Beast. A former Nieman Fellow at Harvard, she is the director of the Emmy-nominated 2020 documentary, Enemies of the People: Trump and the Political Press.



Bookings are closed for this event.