3 Apr 2009 7:00 am   //   Filed under: Books

A recommended book

I just finished reading When Skateboards Will Be Free: A Memoir of a Political Childhood by Saïd Sayrafiezadeh. The book recounts Saïd’s life growing up with parents who were members of the Socialist Workers Party. Following marching orders from this fringe political group, his parents acted irrationally, to the detriment of their family. Saïd wrote this book with the best kind of journalistic detachment. We already know that he is totally invested in his own life story, so he has no need to over-explain his feelings. He just writes what he saw, and how he acted. It took courage to write like this. I actually feel wiser for having read his book.

Of course, I have a bias, given that I used to work with Saïd and his now-wife Karen. I met Saïd soon after I moved here in 2002. A fellow cyclist, he taught me the rules of the road for bike riding in New York City. (Rule 1: Buy the $100 bike lock, or your bike will get stolen.) In 2004, he and I organized a series of low-stakes office bets on the outcomes of the presidential primaries. (We both predicted Howard Dean would be elected.) He was one of the good guys at our office.

I’m really pleased to see Saïd’s name on such a high-quality book!