Author(s): Azar Nafisi
We all have dreams things we fantasise about doing and generally never get around to. This is the story of Azar Nafisi s dream and of the nightmare that made it come true.
For two years before she left Iran in 1997, Nafisi gathered seven young women at her house every Thursday morning to read and discuss forbidden works of Western literature. Some came from conservative and religious families, others were progressive and secular: several had spent time in jail. They were shy and uncomfortable at first, unaccustomed to being asked to speak more freely, not only about the novels they were reading but also about themselves, their dreams and disappointments. Their stories intertwined with those they were reading PRIDE AND PREJUDICE, WASHINGTON SQUARE, DAISY MILLER and their Lolita, as they imagined her, in Tehran.
Azar Nafisi s luminous tale offers a fascinating portrait of the Iran-Iraq war viewed from Tehran and gives us a rare glimpse, from the inside, of women's lives in revolutionary Iran. It is a work of great passion and poetic beauty, written with a startlingly original voice.
Azar Nafisi is a professor at Johns Hopkins University. She won a fellowship from Oxford and taught English literature at the University of Tehran, the Free Islamic University and Allameh Tabatabai University in Iran. She was expelled from the University of Tehran for refusing to wear the veil and left Iran for America in 1997. She has written for The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal and The New Republic, has appeared on countless radio and television programs, and is the author of ANTI-TERRA: A CRITICAL STUDY OF VLADIMIR NABOKOV'S NOVELS. She lives in Washington, DC, with her husband and two children.