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Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books
by Nafisi, Azar
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1. Nafisi's book is part memoir, part political history, and part literary criticism. Which parts were most meaningful for you?
2. What did you know about life under the Ayatollah Khomeini before reading this book? What did you learn?
3. Nafisi's students are reading the 'classics' of contemporary Western literature--Fitzgerald, Nabokov, Miller. Why did she choose these authors? Which authors would you have selected?
4. Why do Nafisi and her family stay in Tehran for so long when they could leave? Why did some people leave and what were they hoping for?
5. During these years the government of Iran was censoring what people were able to read, including works of fiction. Why did the government want to control what people read? Is there a time when you think this would be an appropriate action?
6. Nafisi believes in the power of fiction, and asks her students to think about why people read and write fiction. What do you think is the role of fiction in contemporary American life? Is it different in Iran?
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