Reading Lolita in Tehran – Azar Nafisi

2 Aug

Challenges – August Reading Circle 2011
Rory Gilmore Challenge
501 Must Read Books

Synopsis – 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 portrait of the Iran-Iraq war viewed from Tehran and gives us a glimpse, from the inside, of women’s lives in revolutionary Iran.

My Thoughts – I was a little but apprehensive about reading this book as i thought i might not understand it or be able to get into it, but it is possibly the best book i have read this year. It is a true story, with the main plot being on the author and her life in Iran. The main thing that fascinated me was the cultural differences between life here in England and life for women in Iran. For example, women could be put in prison and even killed for simply wearing nail varnish. This is also shocking considering this story was written in 1997, nearly fifteen years ago. In the modern world, it is shocking to think that this can still happen.
The book bases its plot around several classic western books, like Austen and Gatsby. Unfortunalty, i had not read any of the books mentioned, but i have several on my wishlist, and even more now i have read this book.
This book is amazing. It is a must read book that really highlights the plight of women in Iran. Before reading this book i was very ignorant to their cause, but now i would love to read more books like this one.

Rating – 5/5



5 Responses to “Reading Lolita in Tehran – Azar Nafisi”

  1. Grace August 2, 2011 at 7:34 pm #

    I’ve been meaning to read this book for a while; it looks really good!

    • shelovestoread August 3, 2011 at 4:17 pm #

      It is sooooo good 🙂 read it, you wont be disapointed 🙂

  2. Rachel August 3, 2011 at 4:16 am #

    This book sounds amazing. Thanks for the review

    • shelovestoread August 3, 2011 at 4:18 pm #

      it is 🙂 if you get a chance give it a read, you wont regret it!

  3. hemp August 6, 2011 at 10:46 pm #

    In this book veteran New York Times correspondent Stephen Kinzer gives the first full account of this fateful operation. This book is the tragic story of a CIA operation that removed one of the only democratically elected leaders in the Middle-East. This story is so tragic especially if I just re-read this book in preparation for a book club.

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