Reading Lolita in Tehran

Reading Lolita in Tehran

by Azar Nafisi

Kim Sisto Robinson: "If I turned towards books, it was because they were the only sanctuary I knew, one I needed in order to survive, to protect some aspect of myself that was now in constant retreat." --AZAR NAFISI

"Reading Lolita in Tehran" is about one woman's journey to find sanctuary and refuge in the midst of burkas, morality police, fundamentalist extremists, and inhumanity. It is about building women's relationships when it appears love and hope are forever lost.

Professor, Azar Nafisi, gathers seven of her most promising students at her home for a book club. The women discuss authors such as Nabokaov, Fitzgerald, James, and Austin. They eat chocolate, giggle, and talk about their personal lives. They savor words in their mouths and live vicariously through fiction. Oh, fiction can be such an escape from reality.

"Our world under the Mullah's rule was shaped by the colorless lenses of the blind censor."--AZAR NAFISI

What I found fascinating is the women observe their own lives while reading Lolita, The Great Gatsby, and Pride and Prejudice. In Lolita, they observe the domination and prison Lolita endures by the hands of a man, Hubert Hubert. Thus, their own Islamic Republic in Iran. Nafisi has woven Alice and Wonderland throughout her book--because fiction is that Wonderland one is able to step into, escape from, and retreat deeply inside in order to survive and endure. Reading beautiful fiction is like walking into the light.

The burka is a clear metaphor for the tyranny and oppression Iranian women suffer, but mere cloth cannot cover the emotion these women experience, the pure passion they possess within, their desperate desire to feel the breeze upon their skin, the emancipation upon their brows. Some things cannot be taken away or caged up---Like hope, the freedom inside, and the SOUL...and sometimes those things can only be found through fiction, literature, and women gathering together for a common cause.

Highly recommended. Beautiful, profound, and significant book for every women in all corners of the earth.
Rating: *****

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