Excerpts from Walled In, Walled Out’s enthusiastic reviewers

Burgess Needle, author, Sit and Cry: Two Years in the Land of Smiles, Amazon

Walled In, Walled Out is a journey of geography, culture and self-examination that enchants, educates and, like those magic carpets of fable, transports the reader to all the sensory and cultural dimensions of another people in another time and place. Highly recommended!

Mark Landsberg, author, Landsberg’s Law: A Journey of Discovery, Amazon

Mary Dana Marks deftly transports the reader to an alien culture (Iran 1964-1966) where the 21 year old American girl is confronted with daunting challenges which she relates brilliantly with honesty and humor. Her ability to vividly paint word pictures and bare her personal angst makes this a book I would highly recommend.


John Krauskopf, author, Iran: Stories from the Peace Corps, KhabarNameh: newsletter, Peace Corps Iran Association

[This] is a captivating memoir….Mary refers to walls as symbols for both culture and the position of women. For the male Peace Corps Volunteers in Iran, she provides insights that were blocked by those walls. I am most appreciative that she shared her delightful and perceptive story.  

Carole Rosenthal, author, It Doesn’t Have to be Me, Amazon

Walled in, Walled Out is a deeply satisfying exploration of culture and custom in Iran during the reign of the Shah, and a compelling memoir. Everyday Iran… is alive on the pages of this book. The proper way to cook a chicken? Offer it a drink of water, face its head towards Mecca, slit, boil, pluck, and save the feathers for a pillow. To celebrate the Iranian New Year? Jump over fire, set a fresh egg on top of a mirror on the table to turn “exactly” at midnight of its own accord. Of course, it’s all more complicated than that….This well-paced portrait of a young American in a country heading unknowingly towards jolting transition is a delight of splendid detail. Highly recommended.


Brynna Kaulback, blogger, On Becoming Brynna, Amazon

[This] is the riveting story of life in the mid-sixties in a rural Iranian town as seen through the eyes of a mid-Western young woman, a Peace Corps volunteer….This absorbing memoir affords a personal window onto life under [Mohammed] Reza Shah on an everyday level….Whenever I had to put the book down, I was eager to return, to discover her next adventures.