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Published February 26 2010

Saberi’s book set for release March 30

Fargo native Roxana Saberi was in an Iranian jail a year ago, uncertain about her fate.

Today, she’s gearing up for a national book tour to share firsthand her gripping story.

“Between Two Worlds: My Life and Captivity in Iran” chronicles the freelance journalist’s four-month imprisonment in Iran. It will be released on March 30.

“It’s one of our lead spring titles,” said Gretchen Crary of HarperCollins Publishers, which is publishing the book. “We think it is going to do fantastically well.”

Soon after the book’s release, the Fargo North High School graduate starts a packed two months of events – from ABC’s “Good Morning America” to National Public Radio’s “Fresh Air.”

She’s leaving time, however, for her hometown.

The Concordia College graduate will be at her alma mater for a book reading and signing on April 15 and then wraps up six weeks of events by returning to Fargo.

She’s scheduled to be at the downtown Zandbroz Variety store on May 13.

“She’ll start her world tour at Concordia and end it here,” owner Greg Danz said. “It will be kind of fun for our community.”

Due to all the publicity and local appeal, he said the store is ordering 100 of her books – five times what they’d normally order.

The Cobber Bookstore at Concordia is also ordering extra books for a total of 500. In south Fargo, Barnes & Noble is stocking up, too, manager Cindy Snelling said, adding that they anticipate people will pre-order the book because of local interest.

Soon after the book’s release, Saberi is scheduled to speak throughout the region. She’ll be at the Midwest Journalism Conference in the Twin Cities on April 16, the University of North Dakota on April 19 and Bismarck State College on April 20.

It was just last March that Saberi’s parents first spoke out from Fargo about their daughter’s detainment.

The former Miss North Dakota was accused of spying for the U.S. and sentenced to eight years in jail – a charge later reduced, allowing her to leave Iran.

HarperCollins describes the 336-page book as a “harrowing chronicle of an Iranian-American journalist’s arrest, sham trial and sentencing to eight years in prison, as well as stories about the struggles and courage of the Iranians she met along the way.”


Readers can reach Forum reporter Kelly Smith at (701) 241-5515