Best Azar Nafisi books

Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books

Azar Nafisi

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Every Thursday morning for two years in the Islamic Republic of Iran, Azar Nafisi, a bold and inspired teacher, secretly gathered seven of her most committed female students to read forbidden Western classics. Some came from conservative and religious families, others were progressive and secular; some had spent time in jail. They were shy and uncomfortable at first, unaccustomed to being asked to speak their minds, but soon they removed their veils and began to speak more freely–their stories intertwining with the novels they were reading by Jane Austen, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Henry James, and Vladimir Nabokov. As Islamic morality squads staged arbitrary raids in Tehran, as fundamentalists seized hold of the universities and a blind censor stifled artistic expression, the women in Nafisi’s living room spoke not only of the books they were reading but also about themselves, their dreams and disappointments.

Azar Nafisi’s luminous masterwork gives us a rare glimpse, from the inside, of women’s lives in revolutionary Iran. Reading Lolita in Tehran is a work of great passion and poetic beauty, a remarkable exploration of resilience in the face of tyranny, and a celebration of the liberating power of literature.

The Republic of Imagination: A Life in Books

Azar Nafisi

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A New York Times bestseller

The author of the beloved #1 New York Times bestseller Reading Lolita in Tehran returns with the next chapter of her life in books—a passionate and deeply moving hymn to America

 
Ten years ago, Azar Nafisi electrified readers with her multimillion-copy bestseller Reading Lolita in Tehran, which told the story of how, against the backdrop of morality squads and executions, she taught The Great Gatsby and other classics of English and American literature to her eager students in Iran. In this electrifying follow-up, she argues that fiction is just as threatened—and just as invaluable—in America today.

Blending memoir and polemic with close readings of her favorite novels, she describes the unexpected journey that led her to become an American citizen after first dreaming of America as a young girl in Tehran and coming to know the country through its fiction. She urges us to rediscover the America of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and challenges us to be truer to the words and spirit of the Founding Fathers, who understood that their democratic experiment would never thrive or survive unless they could foster a democratic imagination. Nafisi invites committed readers everywhere to join her as citizens of what she calls the Republic of Imagination, a country with no borders and few restrictions, where the only passport to entry is a free mind and a willingness to dream.

Things I've Been Silent About: Memories of a Prodigal Daughter

Azar Nafisi

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In this stunning personal story of growing up in Iran, Azar Nafisi shares her memories of living in thrall to a powerful and complex mother against the backdrop of a country’s political revolution. A girl’s pain over family secrets, a young woman’s discovery of the power of sensuality in literature, the price a family pays for freedom in a country beset by upheaval—these and other threads are woven together in this beautiful memoir as a gifted storyteller once again transforms the way we see the world and “reminds us of why we read in the first place” (Newsday).


My Sister, Guard Your Veil; My Brother, Guard Your Eyes: Uncensored Iranian Voices

Azar Nafisi

Best price for this book: $ 11.19

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In the first anthology of its kind, Lila Azam Zanganeh argues that although Iran looms large in the American imagination, it is grossly misunderstood-seen either as the third pillar of Bush's infamous "axis of evil" or as a nation teeming with youths clamoring for revolution.

This collection showcases the real scope and complexity of Iran through the work of a stellar group of contributors-including Azar Nafisi and with original art by Marjane Satrapi. Their collective goal is to counter the many existing cultural and political clichés about Iran. Some of the pieces concern feminism, sexuality, or eroticism under the Islamic Republic; others are unorthodox political testimonies or about race and religion. Almost all these contributors have broken artistic and cultural taboos in their work.

Journalist Reza Aslan, author of No God But God, explains why Iran is not a theocracy but, rather, a "mullahcracy." Mehrangiz Kar, a lawyer and human rights activist who was jailed in Iran and is currently a fellow at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, argues that the Iranian Revolution actually engendered the birth of feminism in Iran. Journalist Azadeh Moaveni reveals the underground parties and sex culture in Tehran, while Gelareh Asayesh, author of Saffron Sky, writes poignantly on why Iranians are not considered white in America, even though they think they are. Poet and writer Naghmeh Zarbafian expounds on the surreal experience of reading censored books in Iran, while Roya Hakakian, author of Journey from the Land of No: A Girlhood Caught in Revolutionary Iran, recalls the happy days of Iranian Jews. With a sharp, incisive introduction by Lila Azam Zanganeh, this diverse collection will alter what you thought you knew about Iran.

"My Sister, Guard Your Veil; My Brother, Guard Your Eyes aims to corrode fixed ideas and turns cultural and political clichés on their heads . . . Iranians themselves live in a complex and schizophrenic reality, at a surreal crossroads between political Islam and satellite television, massive national oil revenues, and searing social inequalities."--From the Introduction by Lila Azam Zanganeh

Contributors include: Azar Nafisi, author of the best-selling Reading Lolita in Tehran, Marjane Satrapi, author of Persepolis, Shirin Neshat, internationally acclaimed visual artist, Abbas Kiarostami, award-winning filmmaker of Taste of Cherry, Shohreh Aghdashloo, Oscar nominee for House of Sand and Fog, Azadeh Moaveni, author of Lipstick Jihad

Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books

Azar Nafisi

Best price for this book: $ 26.07

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The inspirational tale of eight women who defied the confines of life in revolutionary Iran through the joy and power of literature. 'That room for all of us, became a place of transgression. What a wonderland it was! Sitting around the large coffee table covered with bouquets of flowers ...We were, to borrow from Nabokov, to experience how the ordinary pebble of ordinary life could be transformed into a jewel through the magic eye of fiction.' For two years before she left Iran in 1997, Azar Nafisi gathered seven young women at her house every Thursday morning to read and discuss forbidden works of Western literature. They were all former students whom she had taught at university. Some came from conservative and religious families, others were progressive and secular; several had spent time in jail. Shy and uncomfortable at first, they soon began to open up and speak more freely, not only about the novels they were reading but also about themselves, their dreams and disappointments. Their stories intertwined with those they were reading - 'Pride and Prejudice', 'Washington Square', 'Daisy Miller' and 'Lolita' - their Lolita, as they imagined her in Tehran. Nafisi's account flashes back to the early days of the revolution when she first started teaching at the University of Tehran amid the swirl of protests and demonstrations. In those frenetic days, the students took control of the university, expelled faculty members and purged the curriculum. Azar Nafisi's luminous tale offers a fascinating portrait of the Iran-Iraq war viewed from Tehran and gives us a rare glimpse, from the inside, of women's lives in revolutionary Iran. It is a work of great passion and poetic beauty, written with a startlingly original voice.

Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books by Nafisi, Azar New edition (2004)

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The Republic of Imagination: America in Three Books by Nafisi, Azar (2014) Hardcover

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Shahnameh: The Persian Book of Kings (Penguin Classics)

Abolqasem Ferdowsi

Best price for this book: $ 15.14

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The definitive translation by Dick Davis of the great national epic of Iran—now newly revised and expanded to be the most complete English-language edition
 
Dick Davis—“our pre-eminent translator from the Persian” (The Washington Post)—has revised and expanded his acclaimed translation of Ferdowsi’s masterpiece, adding more than 100 pages of newly translated text. Davis’s elegant combination of prose and verse allows the poetry of the Shahnameh to sing its own tales directly, interspersed sparingly with clearly marked explanations to ease along modern readers.
 
Originally composed for the Samanid princes of Khorasan in the tenth century, the Shahnameh is among the greatest works of world literature. This prodigious narrative tells the story of pre-Islamic Persia, from the mythical creation of the world and the dawn of Persian civilization through the seventh-century Arab conquest. The stories of the Shahnameh are deeply embedded in Persian culture and beyond, as attested by their appearance in such works as The Kite Runner and the love poems of Rumi and Hafez.
 
For more than sixty-five years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,500 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

My Uncle Napoleon: A Novel (Modern Library Paperbacks)

Iraj Pezeshkzad

Best price for this book: $ 6

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The most beloved Iranian novel of the twentieth century

“God forbid, I’ve fallen in love with Layli!” So begins the farce of our narrator’s life, one spent in a large extended Iranian family lorded over by the blustering, paranoid patriarch, Dear Uncle Napoleon. When Uncle Napoleon’s least-favorite nephew falls for his daughter, Layli, family fortunes are reversed, feuds fired up and resolved, and assignations attempted and thwarted.

First published in Iran in the 1970s and adapted into a hugely successful television series, this beloved novel is now “Suggested Reading” in Azar Nafisi’s Reading Lolita in Tehran. My Uncle Napoleon is a timeless and universal satire of first love and family intrigue.

The Shahnameh: The Persian Book of Kings

Abolqasem Ferdowsi

Best price for this book: $ 56.01

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The great national epic of Persia—the most complete English-language edition and definitive translation by Dick Davis, available in a deluxe edition by Penguin Classics.

Wherever Persian influence has spread, the stories of the Shahnameh become deeply embedded in the culture, as amply attested by their appearance in such works as The Kite Runner and the love poems of Rumi and Hafez. Among the greatest works of world literature, this prodigious narrative, composed by the poet Ferdowsi in the late tenth century, tells the story of pre-Islamic Iran, beginning in the mythic time of creation and continuing forward to the Arab invasion in the seventh century. The sweep and psychological depth of the Shahnameh is nothing less than magnificent as it recounts classic tales like the tragedy of Rostam and Sohrab.

Now Dick Davis, “our pre-eminent translator from the Persian” (Washington Post), presents a comprehensive translation of Ferdowsi’s masterpiece in an elegant combination of prose and verse, allowing the poetry of theShanameh to sing its own tales directly, interspersed sparingly with clearly-marked explanations to ease along modern readers.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.