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   Azar Nafisi
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Biography
Azar Nafisi was born in Tehran and when she was thirteen years old she left the country to continue her studies first in Europe and later in the United States. At university she sided with the Iranian Students' Union conflicting with the Shah's regime; she studied Marx and the most important left-wing theoreticians while also passionately reading authors such as Eliot, Auster, Plath, Nabokov and Fitzgerald.
In 1979, the year of Khomeini's revolution, she returned to Iran where she worked as an assistant in the English Department at Teheran University, but in 1981 she was expelled for refusing to wear the Islamic veil which had become compulsory.
She started teaching again in 1987 as an associate professor at the Free Islamic University and later at the Allameh-Tabatabaii in Teheran, always distinguishing herself for her clear liberal ideas in spite of the strong political repression.
In 1994, a year before she retired from academic life in Iran, she published a book about the author Vladimir Nabokov: Anti Terra. A critical Study of Vladimir Nabokov's Novels.
During the following two years she organised meetings addressed at reading the classics in Anglo-Saxon literature in her own home, involving seven of her best female students. It was these meetings, most of which were devoted to Lolita, which inspired her first and only novel: Reading Lolita in Teheran (Random House 2003), a literary event that attracted the attention of the press all over the world, and was then published in nineteen countries.
Azar Nafisi currently lives in Washington with her husband and her children. She teaches English Literature at the John Hopkins University in Baltimore and also writes for a number of the most important American magazines.
In Italy Reading Lolita in Teheran is to be published by Adelphi, coinciding with the Festival delle Letterature of Rome.
 
Comments about Reading Lolita in Teheran:

"The book is elegiac, the testimony of a brief rebellious experiment, but it is also a touching tribute to the stubbornness - also when facing a revolution, a war and repression - of the human spirit".
"The Independent"

"An extraordinarily interesting book... a fascinating tale about the relation between pretence and reality".
"Times Literary Supplement"

"An account of an insatiable desire for intellectual freedom in Iran before, during and after the 1979 revolution".
"USA Today"
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