Review: Reading ‘Lolita’ in Tehran by Azar Nafisi

by Hugh Beattie, Clydebank College Library Manager Reading Lolita in Tehran

It is essential that books like this are written, so that we can take stock of our lives & enjoy the freedoms that we so often take for granted. This novel describes an underground world much like life under the soviets in e.g. the old Czechoslovakia.   This is a frightening & furtive world, where meeting a group of like-minded women to talk about literature is a subversive act that would be punishable by imprisonment, interrogation, rape, disappearance & death. Such commitment to the world of books therefore, commands great courage & strength & is not a task to be taken lightly.   
Even although the atmosphere at this reading group seems on the surface to be light & scholarly, the underlying risk involved in these meetings preys on the back of the readers’ mind.  

I enjoyed this novel for the above reasons & because we get a glimpse of a world returning by choice to a dark age, where religion is worn as a badge of convenience in order to subdue thought & imagination.





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