Azar Nafisi: Reading Lolita in Tehran

(1738 words)
  • The Literary Encyclopedia. Volume Persian/Farsi Writing and Culture.

In her first memoir, Reading Lolita in Tehran (2003), Azar Nafisi writes of her experience living and working in Tehran, Iran, as a professor of English. She tells the story of an illegal book club that meets in her apartment where young women from all ends of the political and religious spectrums meet to discuss texts forbidden by the theocratic autocracy – books that are deemed to be too “western”. Using canonical novels by Vladimir Nabokov, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Henry James, and Jane Austen to create the memoir’s structure, Nafisi weaves together literary analysis and personal narrative to unfold her story of living and reading in Tehran—and ultimately deciding to leave it. Much of the book …

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Colleen, Clemens. "Reading Lolita in Tehran". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 03 September 2013; last revised .
[, accessed 06 July 2015.]

Related Groups

  1. Middle Eastern Literatures& Cultures