Iran, Shiraz, Cultural Revolution, Middle East, Omar Khayyam, Tehran, Shah

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Maxine Adams Miller was a world traveler, representing the University of Southern California at the first Japanese American student conference in Japan, Manchuria and Old China. There she met her future husband, also a delegate. She also took extensive trips though Russia, the Iron Curtain countries, traveled the length of Africa, and visited the Far East and Middle East.

That this American housewife should see the colour and contrasts of ancient Persia and modern Iran with such bright eyes, as she does in Bright Blue Beads, is no accident. A practised observer in her right, she is the daughter of one skilled and active analyst and the wife of another. Her father, W. Lloyd Adams, was a lawyer, political strategist, and newspaper publisher.

Mrs. Miller’s husband, Sherman Miller, was professor of business administration at Glendale College in California. His appointment as adviser to the University of Tehran on behalf of the University of Southern California took the Millers and their two teenagers for a two year assignment to Iran in 1957.

From high school in Rexburg, Idaho, Maxine Miller went to New York for theatrical and dancing studies. Through the venture of having her own dancing school she became one of the youngest members of the Business and Professional Women’s Club in the United States.

At eighteen, this girl, the first from the American West, was presented at the Court of St. James, in one of the last formal courts. This honour came at the close of her first extensive stay overseas; she had been attending the Elizabeth Yoder School in Florence, Italy. She went on to graduate from the University of Southern California in speech and English. There she was very active in drama, dancing, and organizations and received many honors.

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I have an uneasy feeling that history is catching up with old Persia all too fast. While Persia’s past still lies in plain sight, where an American family could live in it, I’m eager to tell our story. If for no other reason than for myself, to keep the memory of it as fresh as those new roses, as real as those tan mud walls.

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