Reading Lolita in Tehran

I picked up this by Azar Nafasi back over my birthday and I put it off because I knew I would like it. But I wasn’t motivated enough to push it to the front of the pack.

First, a quick summary. Nafasi shares her love of literature as a vehicle to forget the horrors of the Iranian Revolution and as a masthead to hold onto. She hids in Lolita and Gatsby. Through her love of words she is able to offer the same escape to a group of female students she takes under her wings. Her memoir focuses on the intersection between literature as education and literature as a refuge in the storm.

I liked Nafasi’s story about her life in revolutionary Iran and valued her criticism on the books on which she centered her memoir. However, I found it pretty obvious how she twisted her criticism to further her broader criticism of the Revolution. While I don’t begrudge her opinions (in fact, I would likely feel the same way in revolutionary Iran) but her hatred for Islamists and the Revolution is thinly veiled.

I completely enjoyed reading Reading Lolita in Tehran and it was a very pleasurable and quick read.


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