by Azar Nafisi

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Review

Reading Lolita in Tehran is split into four parts, the first and the final are about the author, Azar Nafisi, gathering a group of former female students to read and discuss Western literature. The two middle parts are about Mrs Nafisi when she first moved back to Iran and began teaching Western literature at a university. Then jumping to almost a decade later toward the end of the Iran/Iraq war. I liked most of this book, but it was very jarring when I had to reread passages to figure out who was talking because random dialog doesn't have quotes to differentiate between speakers. Mrs. Nafisi will sometimes go into side stories that don't seem to fit in with everything. The four sections of the book are titled according to what was being read during that time frame, be it a specific book, or a specific author. I liked that but part way through those bits of the story there is a plot synopsis/critique thrown in that seems kind of useless by the time you get to it. I was intrigued by seeing the troubles faced by women and intellectuals in Tehran, for the almost two decades covered in the novel, after the Iranian Revolution.

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