International Best Selling Iranian Author Dies

Author of the international bestselling novel “Pomegranate Soup,” Marsha Mehran was found dead in her home in the village of Lecanvey in County Mayo, on Ireland’s northwest coast, on April 30. She was 36.

Mehran was born in Iran in 1977 and her family left for Argentina two years later following the revolution. She lived in Miami, Australia, and New York before moving to the County Mayo, native to Irishman Christopher Collins, who she married after the couple met in New York. They were believed to have been separated at the time of her death.

“Pomegranate Soup” was based partly on her own family’s experiences, inspired by a family she saw in Ireland. She wanted to write novel that expressed “a happiness and vitality that is particular to Iranians, to Persian culture itself,” and especially Iranian cuisine.

The acclaimed novel tells the story of three beautiful Persian sisters having fled an Islamic revolution, find themselves in Ballinacroagh where they decide to open a Middle-Eastern café. While many locals are soon lured to the café by the spicy aromas, not everyone welcomes the sisters with open arms.



The novel, which included recipes, was an international bestseller, translated into more than a dozen languages and published in more than 20 countries.

She followed the book with a sequel, “Rosewater and Soda Bread.” NPR reports that a third book in the series, “Pistachio Rain,” was slated to be published this year, along with a novel titled “The Margaret Thatcher School of Beauty.”

In her 2005 New York Times essay, Ms. Mehran wrote of her cross-cultural life: “When people ask me where I am from, I say I am Persian, born in Iran. I write and dream in English, I curse in Spanish and, after a few pints of Guinness, I dance a mighty Irish jig.” 

Officials say there is nothing suspicious about the death of the author and toxicology tests are to be carried out as a follow-up to a postmortem to determine the cause of the sudden death.