Sunday, February 19, 2012

Living in Iran

Azar Nafisi's Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books

You don't have to have read Lolita to enjoy this book but it would help to have more than a nodding acquaintance with the novels of Nabokov, Fitzgerald, James, and Austen.This is a challenging book for those of us who weren't lit majors. Nafisi loosely structures her memoir around her private seminars with seven young Iranian women who love English-language novels.She teaches the reader her approach to literature, but far more importantly, she helps the reader get a sense of the great losses she and her students felt after the Iranian revolution. Iran's intellectuals were shocked and helpless as they watched the country become a radical theocracy with Sharia law. Nafisi was a thoroughly westernized upper-class Iranian woman who returned to Iran to teach only to be forced to wear the veil and endure the extreme politics flowing from the worst form of Islam.

No thinking woman can read this book without being deeply moved.

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