Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi

The tag line that drew me in here was:
'Anyone who has ever belonged to a book group must read this book." 
That's a challenge I couldn't resist!  This would be an excellent book to study together too.

Azar Nafisi an Iranian-born, Western-educated professor of English Literature.  Her fascinating memoir walks us through her teaching career in Iran in the 1980's and 90's amid much national turmoil and the Iran-Iraq war.  When she is expelled from the university for refusing to wear and veil, she begins a secret weekly book club dedicating to exploring good books, and resulting in life-long bonds of love and friendship between the women.

This memoir is full of insights into women, relationships, freedom, resilience and the liberating power of literature.  And it made me feel pitifully under-read... the suggested reading list at the back of the book contains 41 titles that are referred to in the memoir of which I have read only 9.  I am sure that the memoir would have had even more impact if I had read more of them.  I'll put them on my to-read list.  :-)

Would be really neat to study Lolita (Vladimir Nabokov), The Great Gatsby (F.Scott Fitzgerald), Daisy Miller (Henry James) or Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen) together and then study this memoir...

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