I became a fan of Melody’s writing after reading her hilarious, gut-wrenching, unforgettable memoir: HALDOL AND HYACINTHS. Melody is an Iranian-American, Muslim, lawyer turned writer, teacher, hula-hoop queen, and feminist/activist. Yes, she’s that impressive, and does all this while managing a chronic illness: bipolar one. If you ever have the opportunity to hear her speak, take it, because she’s a survivor and a total badass.
Her new release, THE RUMI PRESCRIPTION: HOW AN ANCIENT MYSTIC POET CHANGED MY MODERN MANIC LIFE, brings readers the same humor and raw honesty as her memoir, but adds a richly contemplative tone. It’s both a spiritual journey of self-discovery and a father-daughter story. A timely book, it’s filled with wisdom, hope, healing, and lessons learned from a sense of despair and failure.
Battling intense writer’s block, Melody rushes to California to interview her father about his love for the 13thcentury Persian poet, Rumi. Her intention is to research a new book and get it written and published. Quick as possible. But her father encourages Melody to slow down and reflect on the meaning of poems he’s been quoting her whole life. They translate Rumi from the original Persian, even though Melody is barely proficient in Farsi. As they do so, she focuses on what really matters: love.
I connected with this book on multiple levels: as a writer who inhales beautiful sentences; as a reader drawn to poetry; as someone who lives in the trenches with family mental illness. As a lapsed church goer—and the daughter of a vicar—who tries to live by the core Christian belief: love thy neighbor.
When I closed this book, I had one, gloriously calm thought, “I will always choose love.”