Book for Literture Loves, Etc, Reading Lolita in Tehran

Blogged under Good Books by Tammy on Monday 28 June 2010 at 9:09 am

One of my summer reads recently was a book by Azar Nafisi entitled Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. In fact, I did my best not to race through it because I didn’t want it to end too soon.

This memoir covers the author’s life while trying to deal with the Islamic Revolution in Tehran. Her story is assembled around a sort of home-bound book club made up of women who once took university literature classes from her but now meet in secret to discuss books, many banned by the new powers that be. The book is actually divided into sections for books and authors, Gatsby, Jane Austen, Lolita, and so on.

Though not in complete chronological order, Nafis covers a time period ranging from the 1970s to about the mid-1990s. I’m in my mid-40s, so while I was aware something was going on “over there” during the 1970s and 80s, I was too young to care that much or have any comprehension about it. So this alone was a history lesson for me and helped me understand or at least have some context (I still don’t get it all) for what continues to happen in Iran today.

This book has something for literature lovers, feminists, and historians. It is one of the few contemporary books I say should be on your “must read” list.

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