Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi

About the book

Every Thursday morning for two years in the Islamic Republic of Iran, a bold and inspired teacher named Azar Nafisi secretly gathered seven of her most committed female students to read forbidden Western classics. As Islamic morality squads staged arbitrary raids in Tehran, fundamentalists seized hold of the universities, and a blind censor stifled artistic expression, the girls in Azar Nafisi’s living room risked removing their veils and immersed themselves in the worlds of Jane Austen, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Henry James, and Vladimir Nabokov. In this extraordinary memoir, their stories become intertwined with the ones they are reading.

Reviewed by Goodworth Clatford WI Reading Group:

Fascinating. Very condensed and slow reading because there was so much to take in. A vivid picture of life in Tehran and subjugation of women.

Star rating: ***

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4 thoughts on “Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi”

  1. Review by 5:30 Fareham Library Reading Group:
    We were all interested in – and learnt about – women’s life in Iran. But we found the book an intellectual rather than an emotional read. There are some passages where she uses beautiful language and also describes language beautifully. But we were essentailly not engaged with the author.
    Star rating: **


  2. Review by Basingstoke Library Reading Group:
    A fascinating and often disturbing look at life for women in Iran through the eyes and experience of the charismatic literature professor, Azar Nafisi. Engrossing comparisons with the life and politics of the country, with novels by Henry James, Nabokov, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Jane Austen. we all enjoyed this book immensely.
    Star rating: ***


  3. Review by Yateley Library Reading Group:
    We found this book hard going. It had some fascinating facts about life in Tehran before and after the revolution but the long “dissertation style” English literature lectures were hard to read and rather samey. We would not recommend as a book group read.
    Star rating: **


  4. Review by Hook Reading Group:
    A challenging read. Generally thought to be hard going and not a page turner. An interesting insight into life in Iran but we’re unsure of the accuracy. Does the author paint a true picture?
    Star rating: **


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