Reading Lolita in Tehran

I can’t seem to find the words to express my thoughts about Reading Lolita. I type, delete, type, delete, type, delete. All I know is that the book affected me deeply and powerfully. Read it. Or better yet. Listen to it, narrated by the marvelous Lisette Lacat.

Lacat has the kind of voice that would captivate me even if she was reading the Encyclopedia Britannica. And her Iranian dialect made the book more (see, here’s where I can’t find the right word) authentic, inspiring, alive? Anyway, it was better than if I’d read it hearing my inner, very American, voice.

from The New York Times
[The book] is a visceral and often harrowing portrait of the Islamic revolution in that country and its fallout on the day-to-day lives of Ms. Nafisi and her students. It is a thoughtful account of the novels they studied together and the unexpected parallels they drew between those books and their own experiences as women living under the unforgiving rule of the mullahs. And it is, finally, an eloquent brief on the transformative powers of fiction — on the refuge from ideology that art can offer to those living under tyranny, and art’s affirmative and subversive faith in the voice of the individual. — Michiku Kakutani

Links of interest

Discussion questions

Blog posts

What do people who are made irrelevant do?
I wanted to remember everything
Enjoy when you can and endure when you must
Take it from Jane Austen
Imagine a summer night
How does the soul survive?

Middle-aged woman rating (out of five stars): ****1/2


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