Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books

by Azar Nafisi | Biographies & Memoirs |
ISBN: 0375504907 Global Overview for this book
Registered by WeeDragon97 of Katy, Texas USA on 8/28/2005
Buy from one of these Booksellers: | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon DE | Amazon FR | Amazon IT |
13 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by WeeDragon97 from Katy, Texas USA on Sunday, August 28, 2005
So I haven't read this yet but I thought that I would make it into a ring instead of just letting it sit here please pm me with your info if you would like to join.

Journal Entry 2 by WeeDragon97 from Katy, Texas USA on Sunday, January 15, 2006
Reading Lolita in Tehran : A Memoir in Books Bookray
Here is order so when you are done please ask the next person on the list for their addy and send it on its way! Once again I know the order seems to make no sense but it is to suit some request to be later in the list. SORRY NOW CLOSED
KansasKiwi - USA<---Here Now!
morpha- USA
indygo88 - USA
LisaGriffith - USA
boomda181 - Canada
tabbystripes - UK
Drusillamac - Scotland
bestfriends - France
chich - France
Potok-fan - Finland
hetku77 - Finland
laprofe - Spain

Journal Entry 3 by WeeDragon97 from Katy, Texas USA on Thursday, January 19, 2006
Mailed to KansasKiwi on 1/19/06

Journal Entry 4 by KansasKiwi on Saturday, January 21, 2006
Received today.

I'll start reading this tonight. Looking forward to it!

Journal Entry 5 by KansasKiwi on Tuesday, January 24, 2006
I found this book to be a highly readable account of a woman's struggle to preserve her identity under the brutal and corrupt Iranian regime.

The author's clever comments and literary analysis of Western classics to illustrate the relavance of fiction to reality, is an added bonus.


WeeDragon97, thank you so much for including me in this ring.

I must congratulate you on the way you labeled this book, it's beautifully done. And the enclosed bookmark is lovely! I replaced it with one I found today in a bookstore, either for you or for the next reader.

I have morpha's address and will mail the book tomorrow.

Journal Entry 6 by KansasKiwi on Wednesday, January 25, 2006
As promised, mailed today to morpha, USPS Media Mail.

Delivery Confirmation number: 0305 1720 0000 1220 9787.

Journal Entry 7 by morpha from Astoria, Oregon USA on Tuesday, January 31, 2006
Just arrived today. I will start as soon as I finish the book I'm reading. Thanks to WeeDragon97 and KansasKiwi for sharing and sending!

Journal Entry 8 by morpha from Astoria, Oregon USA on Sunday, February 26, 2006
Whew, it took me awhile to get through this. It was not at all what I expected it to be. I felt as if I was taking a literature class from Nafisi. What sticks in my mind the most from this book is a scene of a group of unveiled women, happily discussing books over rich turkish coffee and delectable pastries in the snug comfort of Nafisi's apartment in Tehran. Through a large picture window, one has a view of only beautiful snow-covered mountains. A sort of fairy-tale scene.
Outside of the apartment, intellectuals are imprisoned, tortured, murdered, censured, driven into exile by the cleric-ruled revolutionaly government of Iran. Outside, women must be carefully covered in chador (a dark body-hiding robe) and headscarf while exhibiting restrained "chaste" behavior, or risk being fined or worse.
Inside freedom, outside repression. The dichotomy sticks in my mind.

Journal Entry 9 by LisaGriffith from Cambridge, Massachusetts USA on Wednesday, April 19, 2006
Just received this in the mail today. I'll read and pass along to Boomda181 as quickly as possible!
Thanks for sharing WeeDragon97.

Journal Entry 10 by LisaGriffith from Cambridge, Massachusetts USA on Thursday, July 13, 2006
As with morpha above it took me awhile to get through this one. That and I had The Historian in cue before it.

I liked the book but tried to be wary of the fact that the book was written by someone who is clearly unsatisfied with Iran's current regime. I can't say that I don't feel similarly but I think I'll now try to read some differing accounts (if they're available in English!) to try to get a balanced picture. That given, we all have viewpoints given the experiences we have in life and the more painful or pleasurable the experience the harder it is to remain neutral.

WeeDragon97, thank you for sharing! I'm now PMing boombda181 for a mailing address.

No response from boombda181...skipping to next on the list. Tabbystripes asked to be skipped. PMing Drusillamac!

Journal Entry 11 by Drusillamac from Glasgow, Scotland United Kingdom on Wednesday, August 16, 2006
I caught this book in the post after work today. Thanks to WeeDragon97 and LisaGriffith for sharing :-)

Journal Entry 12 by Drusillamac from Glasgow, Scotland United Kingdom on Wednesday, September 13, 2006
I took this book on holiday with me last week and read most of it on the plane. As other readers have commented, at times I did feel like I was taking part in one of Nasfisi's literature classes. However, the book is beautifully written and I enjoyed reading her views on various pieces of literature. I admire Nasfisi for writing such a critical book on the regime in Iran and her courage displayed in small ways such as refusing to wear the veil.

Thanks to WeeDragon97 for sharing and for labelling this book in such a wonderful way. This book will be on its way once I have an address from bestfriends.

Journal Entry 13 by Drusillamac from Glasgow, Scotland United Kingdom on Monday, September 25, 2006
This book is being posted off to bestfriends tomorrow. Apologies for the delay!

Journal Entry 14 by bestfriends from - Ergens in de provincie, Gelderland Netherlands on Wednesday, October 11, 2006
The book may have arrived a while ago, as I have been on a holiday since 28th September and just came back last night.

I had just finished the book I was reading and already started this one. Sofar I like it. Thanks Drusillamac for sending it and Weedragon97 for sharing. I will send it to the next on the list as soon as I can.

18th October update:

Finished reading and was a little disappointed in the end. I think it was well written, but it could not keep my attention till the end as nothing much happens. Maybe I should have read all the books Nafisi's readingclass discusses first. Well, I did read the Great Gatsby a long time ago and did not particularly like it, so I did not remember much. By Vladimir Nabokov I only read "Ada" (also a long time ago). Although I like books that deal with the lifes of women in non-Western countries with different cultures and/or religions, this one started to get boring.

Thanks for sharing. Will be sent to chich today. Enjoy!

Journal Entry 15 by chich from Ibiza - Sant Antoni de Portmany, Illes Balears/Islas Baleares Spain on Saturday, October 21, 2006
Image hosting by Photobucket Book received today, thanks for passing it on besfriends! And thanks so much for this, too:-)))

I only have one ring ahead of this one so it shouldn't take me too long to read & journal "Reading Lolita in Tehran":)

Journal Entry 16 by chich from Ibiza - Sant Antoni de Portmany, Illes Balears/Islas Baleares Spain on Thursday, October 26, 2006
As said by morpha, what impressed me most about this book was the contrast between the absolute repression of the Iranian regime and the freedom of thought & behavior within the walls of Nafisi's apartment. It was also very interesting to read about the different perceptions of the regime, depending on whether the women had experienced the revolution. I enjoyed the way the book is written very much, and especially how the stories about the students and Nafisi come together with the classes (and the topics discussed in them) in a very natural way.

A wonderful read, thanks so much for sharing WeeDragon97!

The book is now on its way to Potok-Fan in Finland. Enjoy!

Journal Entry 17 by potok-fan from Turku, Varsinais-Suomi / Egentliga Finland Finland on Wednesday, November 08, 2006
Oh no! Another bookring book! :) ha ha - I'm mostly joking because it's great to get the chance to read this. The only problem is I have already committed to read another couple of books first. I will try not to let that delay this book too much, but it could be two or three weeks. I hope that's not a problem. As soon as I'm done reading it I'll journal and forward it to hetku77... and I'll go ahead and get the address for that already now so as to save time. Thanks, weedragon, chich, and everyone else!

Journal Entry 18 by potok-fan from Turku, Varsinais-Suomi / Egentliga Finland Finland on Friday, November 17, 2006
This was a tough read; I confess to skimming a lot of it. Tough because Nafisi expected us to be familiar not only with the books under discussion but with others in the canon as well (fair enough, but I’m not quite so well read). Even more tough because of the picture of living under a religious totalitarian regime.

Thought-provoking, though. I’ve just read a short response to Dawkins’s latest book by Alistair McGrath, in which he points out that unfortunately, many of the evils perpetrated under the name of religion would still exist without religion. If we didn’t have religious tensions, for example, we would still have racial tensions, etc. Nafisi illustrates this herself when pointing out the irony that the “enemy infidel” in the Iran-Iraq war was also a Muslim country. So perhaps I should have merely said “totalitarian regime” rather than “religious totalitarian regime”. Several times, the book evoked memories for me of reading slightly fictionalized accounts of political upheavals in Latin America. How distressing that Nafisi’s experience should not seem unique.

Moreoever, however, reading skimming the book left me profoundly disturbed by the snowballing effect of the fear of women’s sexuality: even swathed in black fabric, they say a woman can tempt with her fingernails, with a wisp of hair. I was raised in a conservative Christian environment, and recall my youthful unease at reading the back cover of an edition of The Handmaid’s Tale, which urged, Read this book, then rush out and donate money to every liberal cause you can. Here again, though, we see that the subjugation of women is not unique to any particular religion (nor, I now believe, is it necessary to either Islam or Christianity).

If it weren’t a relay book, I might be tempted to keep it on my shelf, with good intentions of re-reading it after improving my acquaintance with Joyce and the other authors discussed. But instead, I’m happy to pass it on, to intrigue and disturb others.

EDIT: I've been down with a virus, and so didn't get out to the post office until today, Nov 23 (American Thanksgivig). The book's on its way now, along with an RABCK for hetku77.

Journal Entry 19 by winghetku77wing from Nokia, Pirkanmaa / Birkaland Finland on Friday, November 24, 2006
24.11. I received the book today, thank you Potok-fan!

22.2. I started reading the book.

18.4. It took a long time for me to finish the book - one reason is for me being busy and another is that the language was a bit difficult and my reading was slower than usual. I finished the book a few days ago already actually, but haven't got time to sit down and write a proper journal entry before now.

As Potok-fan pointed out, the book was a bit tough to read as Nafisi expected us to be familiar not only with the books under discussion but with others in the canon as well. Also the way the book was written was not always chronological and straight-forward, which make following the story a bit difficult at times especially because I read the book over a long period of time.

The religious/totalitarian aspect of the book was really interesting - to read how the regular people in Iran felt and how the totalitarian regime affacted their lives. It was of course shocking to read about people being imprisoned, tortured, murdered, censured, driven into exile for reasons that I can't understand. But what it made interesting was how people were able to survive from all that somewhat sane.

Going next to laprofe.

22.4. Sent to laprofe.

Journal Entry 20 by laprofe from Ayamonte, Huelva Spain on Thursday, May 03, 2007
I have received this today. Thanks a lot! I have never been the last in a B-Ray and the book feels good with so many other people's hands having touched it.

I think I have plans to pass it on after I finish it, I'm not sure.

Journal Entry 21 by wingrahar109wing from Ash Vale, Surrey United Kingdom on Monday, June 25, 2007
Arrived safely in the post today, as part of a trade.
Thank you!

Journal Entry 22 by wingrahar109wing from Ash Vale, Surrey United Kingdom on Wednesday, January 30, 2008
Like most people I've heard of the repression in Iran, and it was interesting and disturbing to read about it from someone who lived through it and came out the other side. I particularly liked the way the books that the secret class studied were linked to the way of life in Iran.

Journal Entry 23 by juliako from Birmingham, West Midlands United Kingdom on Wednesday, February 13, 2008
This book arrived safely today. Thank you for both it and the unbirthday postcard!


Posted to juliako as part of the Unbirthday book exchange.

Journal Entry 25 by juliako from Birmingham, West Midlands United Kingdom on Saturday, March 29, 2008
This is an excellent book! It was very readable even through it dealt with a number of difficult themes, and is written by an academic. The history of the period is very interesting, as is the interplay of themes from a few books/authors in western literature with real life in Iran. However, it is also heartbreaking to read/think about what these women went through / are still going through.

Thank you for sharing this book with me - it is a book I'll remember.

I will also be discovering some of the authors mentioned and re-visiting others with a new perspective.

Journal Entry 26 by Samrana from Birmingham, West Midlands United Kingdom on Sunday, June 08, 2008
Thanks to Juliako for passing this on to me.
The book certainly made me think, although I did have to break to read other things from time to time. What came through for me were the personal stories of oppression and many ways that the women in the novel tried to subvert that. Whether by painting their nails or painting an imaginary world or contemplating freedom of expression through characters in a novel when they weren't able to do so for themselves. I was particularly struck by those who were trying to hold on to a spiritual or religious belief when it is being twisted as a tool to control themselves and others. I would love to hear some responses to the book from muslim women.

Passing it back to Juliako who has plans to put it in a 'virtual book box'.

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