By Azar Nafisi
Each Thursday morning for 2 years within the Islamic Republic of Iran, Azar Nafisi, a daring and encouraged instructor, secretly collected seven of her so much dedicated girl scholars to learn forbidden Western classics. a few got here from conservative and spiritual households, others have been revolutionary and secular; a few had frolicked in penal complex. They have been shy and uncomfortable at the beginning, unaccustomed to being requested to talk their minds, yet quickly they got rid of their veils and commenced to talk extra freely–their tales intertwining with the novels they have been interpreting by means of Jane Austen, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Henry James, and Vladimir Nabokov. As Islamic morality squads staged arbitrary raids in Tehran, as fundamentalists seized carry of the schools and a blind censor stifled inventive expression, the ladies in Nafisi’s lounge spoke not just of the books they have been interpreting but additionally approximately themselves, their goals and disappointments.
Azar Nafisi’s luminous masterwork provides us an extraordinary glimpse, from the interior, of women’s lives in progressive Iran. Reading Lolita in Tehran is a piece of serious ardour and poetic good looks, a amazing exploration of resilience within the face of tyranny, and a party of the freeing energy of literature.
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Additional resources for Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books
There have been plainclothes officials on the door, she defined, males from the innovative Committee. They desired to raid the condominium of Mr. Colonel’s tenant. Mr. Colonel was once a brand new neighbor, whom my mom constantly overlooked as a result of his newly wealthy methods and manners. He had destroyed a stunning vacant backyard subsequent to our position and outfitted an unsightly, gray-stone three-story condominium. He lived at the moment flooring, his daughter was once at the 3rd and he rented out the 1st. Tahereh Khanoom defined that “they” desired to arrest Mr. Colonel’s tenant, yet they couldn’t achieve admittance to the home. so that they desired to move into our backyard and climb over our partitions to get into the neighbor’s apartment. We evidently, or even no longer so evidently, needed to disclaim them this permission. As Tahereh Khanoom correctly placed it, What reliable is a Committee respectable who doesn’t have a seek warrant and will basically pass into people’s homes via their acquaintances’ yards? They wanted no seek warrant while it got here to barging into respectable people’s homes normally, so why have been they so helpless while it got here to this one specific criminal? We had our changes with our neighbor, yet we weren't approximately at hand him over to the Committee. As Tahereh Khanoom was once concerning all of this, there has been a commotion on the street less than. We heard the sounds of guys speaking hurriedly, toes operating, a vehicle engine beginning. We infrequently had time to wrap up our feedback of the Committee while there has been one other ring on the door. This time, it used to be extra power. a couple of minutes later Tahereh Khanoom again, followed via younger males within the khaki clothes that have been then trendy with the progressive Guards. They defined that they not wanted our backyard wall to leap over to the neighbor’s condominium: the perpetrator had now jumped into our backyard and was once armed and hiding there. They desired to use our balcony, and the balcony of the 3rd ground, to maintain him busy through taking pictures at him whereas their colleagues sought to seize him. Our permission used to be no longer required, yet they have been thoughtful of “other people’s other halves and mothers,” in order that they requested for it besides. They tell us, by way of implication and gesture, that their prey used to be risky: not just used to be he an armed drug pusher, yet he had different crimes to his identify. 3 others, who proceeded to march upstairs, now followed our intruders. What went via my brain then was once, I later chanced on, the exact same factor that occupied Tahereh Khanoom’s. Upstairs, on a nook of the large terrace, we had hidden our huge and forbidden satellite tv for pc dish. Later, all of us puzzled the way it used to be that our crisis used to be now not lots for our lives or for the truth that 5 armed strangers have been utilizing our condo for a capturing fit with a neighbor who was once additionally armed and hiding someplace in our backyard. We, like any general Iranian electorate, have been to blame and had whatever to conceal: we have been apprehensive approximately our satellite tv for pc dish. Tahereh Khanoom, who used to be extra coolheaded than I and knew their language higher, was once assigned to move upstairs. Yassi used to be accountable for taking care of my bewildered kids, and that i followed the 2 males to our balcony, which opened into our bed room and gave onto the backyard under.