Reading Lolita in Tehran by AZAR NAFIZI

  • May 30, 2013 · 6:30 PM
  • This location is shown only to members

"We all have dreams—things we fantasize about doing and generally never get around to. This is the story of Azar Nafisi’s dream and of the nightmare that made it come true.

For two years before she left Iran in 1997, 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. They were shy and uncomfortable at first, unaccustomed to being asked to speak their minds, but soon they began to open up and to 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. When a radical Islamist in Nafisi’s class questioned her decision to teach The Great Gatsby, which he saw as an immoral work that preached falsehoods of “the Great Satan,” she decided to let him put Gatsby on trial and stood as the sole witness for the defense.

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." From the hardcover edition.

Join or login to comment.

  • RK

    I enjoyed the discussion and particularly the comments from the literature enthusiasts and from Farzad on Iranian history as well as perspectives from Asia.

    May 31, 2013

  • Betty

    Sorry to miss this meeting..I am a big fan of Azar Nafizi

    May 30, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    UNfortunately last minute family matter to attend to same time.

    May 30, 2013

  • Irina

    I will be late as I finish work at 7:30.

    May 29, 2013

  • Heather R.

    Hi everyone.. just joined but unfortunately will have to pass on this event due to a previous commitment. However, this is an incredible book. It's not one that you 'like' - it touches you. Looking forward to the next club. Best _ Heather

    May 28, 2013

  • giovanni m.

    Here is a quiz on the book http://www.bookrags.com/studygu...­

    May 26, 2013

  • RK

    Appropriately for a book related to book discussions, here are some discussion questions from the Reader's Guide provided by the publisher
    http://www.randomhouse.com/book...­

    May 22, 2013

  • stacy

    Excellent book! When the hell will we ever have equal rights? We have a sad exsistance as females in society!

    April 22, 2013

    • Wayne S.

      How many Feminists are protesting sharia law as oppose to condemning Capitalism?

      May 6, 2013

People in this
Meetup are also in:

Create a Meetup Group and meet new people

Get started Learn more
Bill

I started the group because there wasn't any other type of group like this. I've met some great folks in the group who have become close friends and have also met some amazing business owners.

Bill, started New York City Gay Craft Beer Lovers

Start your Meetup today

Act now and get 50% off.
Until February 1.

Sign up

Meetup members, Log in

By clicking "Sign up" or "Sign up using Facebook", you confirm that you accept our Terms of Service & Privacy Policy