“Do not, under any circumstances, belittle a work of fiction by trying to turn it into a carbon copy of real life; what we search for in fiction is not so much reality but the epiphany of truth.” – Azar Nafisi
The book group selection for this month was Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi. It was definitely a challenge and I had a marathon reading day yesterday just to barely finish in time. I needn’t have worried since three of the seven didn’t finish it and two others also finished it yesterday. It’s hard to know exactly what the problem was. Some didn’t like the author, some thought she was talking down to them about the books, others were bothered by the jumping around from the past to the present. I think all of us agreed that we wanted to feel more of a connection with the girls in the book club. I liked the book overall, but only because I found the good parts worth the not-so-great ones. And I did a lot of skimming 🙂
What’s it about – Azar, a college literature professor in Tehran, Iran at the time of the revolution, chronicles her years living in Iran and how the Islamic takeover of the government changed the lives of the women living there. Eventually she started a secret book group in her home where the women talked about banned Western classics and it’s through these books that she framed the story.
What did I learn – Oh, everything. Okay, not so much about the literature, I’d read most of them and my time at Ohio State as an English Ed major let me sit through many lectures similar to what I read in the book, but everything else was pretty new to me and what I enjoyed the most. Learning about what was happening in Iran in the 1980’s, told from the perspective of an educated woman, was eye opening for me.
Who would love it – Hm. Well, as I noted the book club members were not huge fans, but there were a few of us who did appreciate the historical aspects.
I’m hoping to get a more complete review on my book blog soon. I haven’t done a good job of keeping up with both this month.
So, I’ve made officially made it halfway through this first 30 day challenge and I’m feeling good. The website needs a lot of work, but reading a book a day has put my free time at a premium so some of the improvements will take some time. I hope I’m showing you that it can be done!