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Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi

- Abstract

This is a very timely book. Azar Nafisi, now teaching at Johns Hopkins, recounts here the almost two decades she spent as a professor of Western literature in the Iran of Ayatollah Khomeini. In light of recent events in the Middle East and here at home, Nafisi’s decision to tell her story offers a rare opportunity for Westerners to get a glimpse from the inside of the mundane workings of a society smashed to bits and then reconstituted by a radical, barbaric tyranny. One turns to her book with high hopes. Unfortunately it does not fulfill them.

About the Author

Sam Munson, who reviewed Elizabeth Bishop’s Edgar Allan Poe & the Juke-Box in May 2006, is online editor of COMMENTARY.