win prizes books of the month
Search our site
Are You Sleeping by Kathleen Barber Read the opening extract of the brand new Kathleen Barber book before its publication on 27/12/2017

Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books by Azar Nafisi
  

Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books

Biography / Autobiography   
Notify me
when in stock

As soon as this book is back in stock we will send you an email.

Download an extract Share this book

Sue Baker's view...

Exploding our idea of a one-size-fits-all view of the Middle East, Azar Nafisi reveals the personal toll of living under an intolerant regime. Her book describes a secret literature class, where studying Western Literature is both a view of another world and an undertaking fraught with danger. Woven into the narrative are the lives of the students and Nafisi herself as they attempt to live – and learn in modern day Iran.

Like for Like Reading:
Stones into Schools, Greg Mortenson
The Blindfold Horse, Shusha Guppy

A "Piece of Passion" from the publisher...

In Iran in the late 90s, Azar Nafisi and seven young women, her former students, met every Thursday to discuss forbidden works of Western literature. Shy and uncomfortable at first, they began to open up – not only about the novels they were reading but also about their own dreams and disappointments. Their personal stories intertwine with those they are reading – Pride and Prejudice, The Great Gatsby and Lolita – in this rare glimpse of women’s lives in revolutionary Iran. A work of great passion and beauty, it is an uplifting account of quiet resistance in the face of repression.

If you like Azar Nafisi you might also like to read books by Kader Abdolah.

Who is Sue Baker

Synopsis

Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books by Azar Nafisi

The inspirational tale of eight women who defied the confines of life in revolutionary Iran through the joy and power of literature. 'That room for all of us, became a place of transgression. What a wonderland it was! Sitting around the large coffee table covered with bouquets of flowers ! We were, to borrow from Nabokov, to experience how the ordinary pebble of ordinary life could be transformed into a jewel through the magic eye of fiction.' For two years before she left Iran in 1997, Azar Nafisi gathered seven young women at her house every Thursday morning to read and discuss forbidden works of Western literature. They were all former students whom she had taught at university. Some came from conservative and religious families, others were progressive and secular; several had spent time in jail. Shy and uncomfortable at first, they soon began to open up and speak more freely, not only about the novels they were reading but also about themselves, their dreams and disappointments. Their stories intertwined with those they were reading -- 'Pride and Prejudice', 'Washington Square', 'Daisy Miller' and 'Lolita' -- their Lolita, as they imagined her in Tehran. Nafisi's account flashes back to the early days of the revolution when she first started teaching at the University of Tehran amid the swirl of protests and demonstrations. In those frenetic days, the students took control of the university, expelled faculty members and purged the curriculum. Azar Nafisi's luminous tale offers a fascinating portrait of the Iran-Iraq war viewed from Tehran and gives us a rare glimpse, from the inside, of women's lives in revolutionary Iran. It is a work of great passion and poetic beauty, written with a startlingly original voice.

Reviews

‘All readers should read it … engrossing, fascinating, stunning’ Margaret Atwood

'Through her tales of discussing Henry James and Nabokov over cream cakes and coffee, we get a highly unusual insight into the youth of society about which we know little.'
Sunday Times, Book of the Year

'Anyone who has ever belonged to a book group must read this book!It is at once a celebration of the power of the novel and a cry of outrage at the reality in which these women are trapped. The Ayatollahs don't know it, but Nafisi is one of the heroes of the Islamic Republic.'
Geraldine Brooks

'I was enthralled and moved by Azar Nafizi's account of how she defied, and helped others to defy, radical Islam's war against women. Her memoir contains important and properly complex reflections about the ravages of theocracy, about thoughtfulness, and about the ordeals of freedom -- as well as a stirring account of the pleasures and deepening of consciousness that result from an encounter with great literature and with an inspired teacher.'
Susan Sontag

About the Author

Azar Nafisi is a professor at Johns Hopkins University. She won a fellowship from Oxford and taught English literature at the University of Tehran, the Free Islamic University and Allameh Tabatabai University in Iran. She was expelled from the University of Tehran for refusing to wear the veil and left Iran for America in 1997. She has written for The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal and The New Republic, has appeared on countless radio and television programs, and is the author of Anti-Terra: A Critical Study of Vladimir Nabokov’s Novels. She lives in Washington, D.C., with her husband and two children.

More books by this author
Author 'Like for Like' recommendations

Loading similar books...
Loading other formats...

Book Info

Publication date

3rd November 2008

Author

Azar Nafisi

More books by Azar Nafisi
Author 'Like for Like'
    recommendations

Author's Website

azarnafisi.com/

Author's Facebook Latest

Loading facebook updates...
Loading twitter updates...

Publisher

HarperPerennial an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers

Format

Paperback

Categories

Biography / Autobiography


ISBN

9780007289530

Lovereading - a community of people passionate about reading and sharing their views. An incomparable website for book lovers.

Helen Clark

At Lovereading there are fabulous books available in every genre, with great reviews to help you pick the right book for you.

Teresa O'Halloran

It is a website dedicated to those who adore reading It really is a one stop shop for book lovers. Love it!

Edel Waugh

Its jam packed with fantastic titles, informative descriptions & fantastic reviews and has a vast array of great features & competitions.

Linda Rollins

As for why I'd recommend Lovereading, it's simple - it's a great place to get information and reviews about new books!

Margaret Freeman

Love books. Love reading. Love reading books. And, here's the trick. Here's a website which caters for people like me.

Ian Harvey-brown

I love Lovereading because of its ability to connect people that love books & unite them in a friendly, stimulating & interesting community.

Megan Olwen William

Discover new authors and enjoy old favourites; oodles of literary gems to uncover at Lovereading with candid reviews from real reviewers.

Emily Wright

Lovereading4kids

Lovereading4schools