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Reading "Lolita" in Tehran: A Memoir in Books
by Azar Nafisi | Literature & Fiction
Registered by jellycat of Frankfurt am Main, Hessen Germany on 4/1/2008
Average 7 star rating by BookCrossing Members 

status (set by doodleali): travelling


This book is in the wild! This Book is Currently in the Wild!

9 journalers for this copy...

Journal Entry 1 by jellycat from Frankfurt am Main, Hessen Germany on Tuesday, April 01, 2008

This book has not been rated.

In Iran in the late 90s, Azar Nafisi and seven young women - her former students - gathered at her house every Thursday to discuss forbidden works of Western literature. Shy and uncomfortable at first, they soon began to open up, not only about the novels they were reading but also about their own dreams and disappointments.

14.4.08 - I'm sending the book to bluecat07 now. Enjoy! :) 


Journal Entry 2 by bluecat07 from Karben, Hessen Germany on Thursday, April 17, 2008

This book has not been rated.

Arrived safe and sound today. Thank you so much for this RABCK, jellycat, very kind and generous!!xx 


Journal Entry 3 by wingolagoriewing from Stuttgart, Baden-Württemberg Germany on Saturday, May 08, 2010

This book has not been rated.

I received this book today as a RABCK from bluecat07 as she needs more space for her new baby. Thanks a lot!

 


Journal Entry 4 by wingolagoriewing at Oberursel, Hessen Germany on Sunday, June 26, 2011

10 out of 10

Dieses Buch ist ein absoluter literarischer Schatz - ich habe es auf meiner Reise durch Kuba gelesen und bin tief beeindruckt: 10 Punkte von 10. Ich werde daraus einen Ring machen.

Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books is a book by Iranian author and professor Azar Nafisi. Published in 2003, it has been on the New York Times bestseller list for over one hundred weeks and has been translated into thirty-two languages.

The book is a memoir of the experience of the author who returned to Iran during the revolution (1978-1981) and lived and taught in the Islamic Republic of Iran until her departure in 1997. It narrates her teaching at the University of Tehran after 1979, her refusal to submit to the rule to wear the veil and her subsequent expulsion from the university, life during the Iran-Iraq war, her return to teaching at the University of Allameh Tabatabei (1981), her resignation (1987), the formation of her book club (1995–97), and her decision to emigrate. Events are interlaced with the stories of book club members consisting of seven of her female students, who met weekly at Nafisi's house to discuss works of Western literature including the controversial 'Lolita' and the texts are interpreted through the books they read.

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The book is a real treasure though not easy to read. Not what I expected at all.... Part of it is a memoir of her work at different universities, her personal life and about her student reading group. Very well written!

But a large part of the book consists of what I consider worth one semester of modern Western literature lectures / studies. The author writes VERY thoroughly about several authors and novels (a bit difficult if you haven't read most of them like me, but manageable) and compares them to her life / her students lives. Very interesting, but I am sure not everybody will like this, you have to REALLY like the academic literature approach.

So if you would like to join the bookring, please consider this carefully - if not, you probably won't like the book.

My favourite quote is this one: "I told her I did not want to wear the veil in the classroom. Did I not wear the veil, she asked, when ever I went out? Did I not wear it in the grocery store and walking down the street? It seemed I constantly had to remind people that the university was not a grocery store."

Counts for Iran.

The ring starts in Nottingham with

1. you?
2. RonOren (Cambridge, United Kingdom)
3. DJgib (Cambridge, United Kingdom)
3. Vekiki (London) - here currently
4. VictoriaWagtail (Sweden) is not answering to PMs, and will be skipped.
5. You?





 


Journal Entry 5 by Caterinaanna at BCUK UnConvention 2011, Nottinghamshire United Kingdom on Saturday, September 24, 2011

This book has not been rated.

Picked up from the table ... 


Journal Entry 6 by Caterinaanna at Coventry, West Midlands United Kingdom on Saturday, December 10, 2011

6 out of 10

Interesting, but not as good as I thought it would be. I found the mixture of multiple biography, autobiography and literary criticism rather disconcerting and felt parallels were a little stretched at times. This made even the sections relating to books or authors I knew a little hard work.
Not sure what happened too the putative ring for this, so going to contact the people listed above and see if they are interested.
 


Journal Entry 7 by RonOren at Cambridge, Cambridgeshire United Kingdom on Thursday, December 15, 2011

This book has not been rated.

Just arrived. Thanks for resetting the ring, Caterinaanna! I'll probably read it over the Xmas break and will report back soon... 


Journal Entry 8 by RonOren at Cambridge, Cambridgeshire United Kingdom on Friday, February 17, 2012

8 out of 10

Sorry it's taken me such a long time to read and journal this; I genuinely didn't finish the book until a few days ago. A combination of life getting in the way of Bookcrossing and me struggling to pick up the book when I had left it for a little while. I'm not quite sure why I struggled to pick it up, as it was actually quite easy to read and very interesting.

It wasn't at all what I had expected. Or rather, only a small bit of it was as I expected. Unlike the blurb on the back (and most things I've seen about this on BC), it's not really about Nafisi's home class - that's just a small part of it. Neither is it a memoir in books; to be honest, that's the worst subtitle anyone could've given this. It's simply a memoir. Of course, books are immensely important to both Azar Nafisi and her students (in the home class or at the university), but the memoir is about so much more.
It's about life in the early Islamic Republic; it's about women finding their personality methodically stripped from them; it's about a Revolution that turned into a Reaction. In one word, it's about Iran. It's not about Lolita, or Azar Nafisi, or her students - it's simply Iran seen through the eyes of a select few.

Having said all that, I thought it was fascinating. It was so strange to read how almost everyone in the book is intellectual, progressive and, to some extent, willing to defy the regime. Yet often they also defend regulations and morals that I would consider reactionary (if not barbaric). It doesn't seem to come from fear, but from conviction - almost every character in the book is a contradiction of different value (as I guess we all are, but it's less obvious with most people).

All in all, a very thought-provoking book and one that I am very glad I got to raed. It's not something I would've picked up myself, so thanks for making a ring of this, olagorie! And once again, thanks for resetting it, CaterinaAnna. I'll pass it on to DJgib soon. 


Journal Entry 9 by DJgib at Cambridge, Cambridgeshire United Kingdom on Sunday, February 26, 2012

This book has not been rated.

Been looking forward to reading this book for ages. Thanks for sharing! 


Journal Entry 10 by DJgib at Cambridge, Cambridgeshire United Kingdom on Sunday, April 22, 2012

7 out of 10

Sorry it took me a little while to get round to this - I was moving house so pretty busy. I will move it on to Vekiki as soon as possible.

Very readable and engaging. As much an insight into the thinking of a highly insightful group of English literature students, as it is into the lives of people - particularly women - in Iran in the past 20 or so years. Despite the many details of horrific goings on, the persecutions, arrests, tortures, killings, removal of personal liberties, some of the most poignant moments I found were the smallest, such as a description of a concert where neither the musicians nor the audience were allowed to display any emotion or enjoyment. This book has made me feel so grateful for the freedoms I have in my life, from being able to have a relationship with whomever I want to being allowed to wear pink socks.
The book also gave me new insights into books I have previously read, and I feel encouraged to re-read Lolita, The Great Gatsby and Pride and Prejudice to see if I now get more out of them. I did enjoy the sections more in which books were discussed that I had previously read.
Azar Nafisi and her girls, and I'm sure many more people in Iran, are to be admired for their courage and their quiet but determined refusal to give up their identity and individuality. 


Journal Entry 11 by wingVekikiwing at London, Greater London United Kingdom on Wednesday, May 02, 2012

This book has not been rated.

oh, I am really loooking forward to this, will start it tonight :)

Thanks DJgib for sending it, and for the beautiful card you included too (handmade?)  


Journal Entry 12 by wingVekikiwing at London, Greater London United Kingdom on Friday, March 01, 2013

This book has not been rated.

Released 5 yrs ago (3/1/2013 UTC) at London, Greater London United Kingdom

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

as there don't seem to be any more participants in this ray, I am sending it to a new reader as part of the Non Fiction VBB 


Journal Entry 13 by garibaldisghost at Nottingham, Nottinghamshire United Kingdom on Wednesday, March 06, 2013

This book has not been rated.

This well-travelled book was safely delivered to Nottingham yesterday. Thanks alot.
 


Journal Entry 14 by garibaldisghost at Nottingham, Nottinghamshire United Kingdom on Saturday, January 18, 2014

8 out of 10

A most enlightening book. My review notes cannot do it justice. 


Journal Entry 15 by garibaldisghost at Divine Coffee at the Galleries of Justice in Nottingham, Nottinghamshire United Kingdom on Saturday, January 18, 2014

This book has not been rated.

Released 4 yrs ago (1/18/2014 UTC) at Divine Coffee at the Galleries of Justice in Nottingham, Nottinghamshire United Kingdom

WILD RELEASE NOTES:

This great book is on its way to the Divine Coffee house today. 


Journal Entry 16 by doodleali at Arnold, Nottinghamshire United Kingdom on Wednesday, June 04, 2014

This book has not been rated.

Picked this up at the Divine Coffee House. 


Journal Entry 17 by doodleali at Arnold, Nottinghamshire United Kingdom on Friday, October 24, 2014

This book has not been rated.

This was not what I expected from the blurb on the cover as only a small part of the book is about the actual 'literature study group' I didn't find it an easy read, but it was certainly eye -opening. It was fascinating to learn the stories of the different women and their reaction to living in Iran during what seems to have been an incredibly restrictive time for women. 


Journal Entry 18 by doodleali at Sherwood Community Centre OBCZ in Sherwood, Nottinghamshire United Kingdom on Friday, October 24, 2014

This book has not been rated.

Released 3 yrs ago (10/24/2014 UTC) at Sherwood Community Centre OBCZ in Sherwood, Nottinghamshire United Kingdom

WILD RELEASE NOTES:

To be left on the Book Crossing shelves in reception. 


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