Saturday, April 3, 2010

Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi

 Click to view large image of cover in new window...

A moving memoir about the authoress Azar and seven female students of hers. Azar was a professor at Tehran university, until resigning due to the dictatorial policies that involved banning great works of Western literature from being studied.  She decided to continue to hold a private class with invited participants.

For two years Mashid, Nassrin, Manna, Azin, Sanez, Mitra and Yassi met in secret at Azar's home to discuss the novels of Valdimir Nabokov, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Henry James and Jane Austen amongst others.

These weekly meetings which at first started out with shy and somewhat intimidated young women gradually changed into more relaxed gatherings as they became friends. It is through getting to know the young women within  the pages of this memoir that you will learn of the realities of living in Iran under the strict Islamic rules of the period.

The women found that they could often empathise with the heroines from the novels they were studying. Comparing the difficulties they had in their lives with those of their own in present day Iran.

I liked the way this memoir used literary criticism to explain the injustices these women amongst others were suffering, but the style might not appeal to everyone.

Azar Nafisi's Website

Biographical Details of Azar Nafisi

This video from YouTube is a good introduction to the book.


  1. Hey there, just dropping by on the hop and have become a new follower.

    I just picked this book up for a dollar at a used booksale on Thrusday and I'm really looking forward to reading it. I'm glad I came across your post.

    You can visit my blog here if you're interested.

    Happy Reading!

  2. Welcome, I am so pleased you found something here to interest you and are now following, thankyou.

    I will look forward to your review of Reading Lolita.

    Off to visit your blog now.

  3. I read this a few years ago and really enjoyed it. It was such an interesting way to talk about another culture... through their interpretation of western literature.

  4. Avid Reader - thankyou for calling by and commenting. I am always interested in the point of view of other readers.


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