Nancy's Reviews > Reading Lolita in Tehran

Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi
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Apr 14, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: award-winner, middle-east, memoir, books-about-books
Read in April, 2004

On a universal level, I feel this book is more than the story of suppression in the Middle East. It is invaluable in demonstrating how literature and works of art can remove us from an ordinary, mundane, even horrific and dangerous existence, and transport us to another place. How the discussion of literature is often a vehicle for confronting the realities of our own lives. It’s why we all love to read and to share the reading experience. That said, while I admire Nafisi’s courage and her incite, I did find her writing style somewhat disjointed without smooth transitions and often self-conscious. In contrast, the paragraph from Manna at the end of her epilogue is beautifully written. I do think though that everyone who enjoys reading should read this book, and it does make you want to dig out James, Austen, Nabakov, etc. and read them or reread them if its been a while.
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Rena Jane Hi Nancy,

We've got a little book club going up here between some folks in this village and the one a couple of miles away. We're reading Reading Lolita in Tehran for our next book, so I am re-reading it, and also her latest one Things I've Been Silent About. Re-reading Lolita in Tehran is a great discipline. I'm getting more out it this time and also seeing Lolita in a little different light. I've always hated the book, but now I'm seeing her point of view of the ravaging of Dolores' soul by Humbert. I got that, to some extent before, but I guess I'm able to evaluate it at a little deeper level now, if that makes sense. It's rarely the physical damage that's so devastating in rape, but more the psychological and spiritual damage that's done.

Anyway, the 2nd Nafisi book is really good, too. If you get a chance to read it, do.

How did the book club go last week?

Have a good week.

Jane


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