Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Book Club: Reading Lolita in Tehran

Last month, my book club read Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi. It's a true story or memoir of Nafisi's work as a professor of English Literature in Iran. After she leaves the university setting, she selects seven of her most committed female students to come to her house every week for two years and study literature that has recently been forbidden.

They study books by Jane Austen, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Henry James and Vladimir Nabokov. I can't get into the literary focus that Nafisi shares in her book but it seems that each of these Western authors reveals a new aspect of the oppression the women are under during the revolution and war with Iraq.

I actually didn't enjoy this book as much as I had hoped I would. It took a long time to even feel like I understood what was going on. It was a little hard to follow. The last half was more interesting and had more action because the bombings had started and each family was deciding whether to stay or flea the country. The parts I enjoyed really had nothing to do with the literature they studied.

I have to say that I did learn a lot about the revolution. Since I honestly didn't know anything about it before. So, I can't give you the urgent "read this book" that I usually do, but I am glad I finished it!

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