Reading Lolita in Tehran

Nafasi, Azar

  3 Reviews

Part memoir, part literary criticism, Reading Lolita in Tehran is a moving testament to the power of art, and its ability to change and improve people's lives. In 1995, Azar Nafisi resigned her job as university professor and invited seven female former students to meet weekly at her home to study Western literature. They met for two years to talk and share, and 'shed their mandatory veils and robes and burst into colour'.

Comments from Groups

We had a very lively discussion about this book, and wider topics to do with womens' rights, human rights and literature. It was a very intense read; hard to finish for some but very rewarding for others. Some aspects were riveting, other parts became a little repetitive and tedious. It's an important work which can't fail to stimulate meaningful discussion about life, policies and religion. Worth persevering with. Auckland 037

A wonderful book - made us all think how lucky we are to live a 'free' life here in NZ. Matamata 001

Some loved the book as it had so many angles, with the way they studied their novels, the political situation and the strength shown by all the different characters. We had a great discussion, even though some found it too long and depressing. On the whole however, we do recommend it. Picton 002

We all enjoyed it. One of the group said it made her think differently about the situation of elderly Chinese people in NZ. Te Puke 005

In order to get the most out of this book, we felt that you really needed to have read the books discussed in the novel. Christchurch 303

The book was interesting and challenging. It was very dense reading, but held peoples' attention. We had a good discussion. Dannevirke 001



AUCK 422
Widely divergent responses - a very dense novel which some did not wish to finish. But a very thought-provoking discussion, and a very relevant book for book groups.
CHCH 423
Our group felt that there was an imbalance between the academic literary commentary (too much) and the book group story of that time in Iran and the individual lives of the members (not enough). One member found the book deeply enriching and beautiful and finished the book. Everyone agreed that it was a book requiring concentration to read.
One member wore the clothes she'd worn during her visit to Iran in 2011, and brought photos, which was a great introduction to our lively discussion. Most of us thought this a remarkable book, both for the literary discussion and the personal insight into life in Iran during the Revolution; and the way that she related the books' content to their lives.