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Tales of Tehran

In November we will be reading three selections that fit the theme “Tales of Tehran”: Children of the Jacaranda Tree by, Sahar Delijani, Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books, by Azar Nafisi, and The Blind Owl by, Sadegh Hedayat.

Children of the Jacaranda Tree by, Sahar Delijani
In the late 1970s, activists in Iran had a brief moment of hope. The revolution had succeeded; the shah's repressive regime had been overthrown. But things quickly turned for the worse. The newly formed Islamic Republic threw vocal dissenters in prison, and in 1988, it quietly executed thousands of them. Children of the Jacaranda Tree, a new novel by Iranian author Sahar Delijani, explores the personal repercussions of that tumultuous political period. It's a series of interwoven stories that start in Tehran's Evin prison and ripple outward across families, continents and generations.


Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books by, Azar Nafisi
Azar Nafisi describes life in Iran after the 1979 revolution and talks about why, after being removed as a university professor, she took the risk of inviting a group of women to her home for discussions on great Western works of literature - banned books - including 1984, "The Great Gatsby", and Nabokov's "Lolita".


The Blind Owl by, Sadegh Hedayat
Considered the most important work of modern Iranian literature, The Blind Owl is a haunting tale of loss and spiritual degradation. Replete with potent symbolism and terrifying surrealistic imagery, Sadegh Hedayat's masterpice details a young man's despair after losing a mysterious lover. And as the author gradually drifts into frenzy and madness, the reader becomes caught in the sandstorm of Hedayat's bleak vision of the human condition. The Blind Owl, which has been translated into many foreign languages, has often been compared to the writing of Edgar Allen Poe.

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Reminder: We usually choose 2-3 books per month. You're welcome at our meeting whether you read all or none of the books. We read fiction, nonfiction, and plays, and usually try to cover 1 piece of classic literature monthly. We read books reviewed or mentioned on NPR, and try to mirror NPR's tone at our meetings: thoughtful, polite discussion & commentary, with no arguing or posturing, and no sacred cows or unmentioned elephants in the room.
Suggested Donation: $1, at the meeting. If you are able to make a $1 donation at the meeting, this is appreciated as it helps defray the monthly charge that applies to the group Organizer.

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  • A former member
    A former member

    Unexpected houseguest brought extra unexpected stress, so alas, my plans have changes for the worse and I shan't be there this evening.

    November 15, 2013

    • Dorian T.

      We'll definitely miss you! I hope things calm down. See you next month! :-)

      November 15, 2013

  • Dorian T.

    We will certainly miss you on Friday, Marcia! I will be sure to bring your suggestions with me.

    1 · November 12, 2013

  • Marcia

    Since I won't be at November's meeting, here are some book selection ideas: 1) "The Goldfinch" by Donna Tartt (I just saw Vermeer's "Goldfinch" at the Frick in NYC, so this novel sparked my interest, and I heard about it on npr!). Because it is being compared to Dickens' "David Copperfield," they may pair well.
    2) A China theme: Hong Ying's "Daughter of the River" with Amy Tan's "The Valley of Amazement." Our classic could be "The Good Earth" by Pearl Buck. 3) A British theme: Henry Hitchings "Sorry! The English and Their Manners" would go well with Jane Austen!

    I won't mind if the group chooses other books. I have loved all of the selections so far. Have a fun meeting!

    1 · November 12, 2013

  • Marcia

    I love this month's selections, but, unfortunately I will not be able to attend. It is my husband's birthday, and I thought we would probably celebrate on Saturday. It turns out that Friday night works better for everyone. I wish I could be 2 places at once! See you next month.

    November 12, 2013

  • Dorian T.

    Just letting everyone know, during November's meeting we will be deciding upon our book selections for January through March, so come prepared with your ideas!

    October 31, 2013

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