Extended Audio Sample

Download Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books Audiobook, by Azar Nafisi Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (63,747 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Azar Nafisi Narrator: Azar Nafisi Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: March 2016 ISBN: 9781101921838
Regular Price: $25.00 Add to Cart
— or —
FlexPass™ Price: $20.95$5.95$5.95 for new members!
Add to Cart learn more )

Every Thursday morning for two years in the Islamic Republic of Iran, a bold and inspired teacher named Azar Nafisi secretly gathered seven of her most committed female students to read forbidden Western classics. As Islamic morality squads staged arbitrary raids in Tehran, fundamentalists seized hold of the universities, and a blind censor stifled artistic expression, the girls in Azar Nafisi’s living room risked removing their veils and immersed themselves in the worlds of Jane Austen, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Henry James, and Vladimir Nabokov. In this extraordinary memoir, their stories become intertwined with the ones they are reading. Reading Lolita in Tehran is a remarkable exploration of resilience in the face of tyranny and a celebration of the liberating power of literature. Download and start listening now!

bvgo

Quotes & Awards

  • A memoir about teaching Western literature in revolutionary Iran, with profound and fascinating insights into both. A masterpiece. Bernard Lewis, author of What Went Wrong?
  • “This book transcends categorization as memoir, literary criticism, or social history, though it is superb as all three…Nafisi has produced an original work on the relationship between life and literature.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • Anyone who has ever belonged to a book group must read this book. Azar Nafisi takes us into the vivid lives of eight women who must meet in secret to explore the forbidden fiction of the West. It is at once a celebration of the power of the novel and a cry of outrage at the reality in which these women are trapped. The ayatollahs don’t know it, but Nafisi is one of the heroes of the Islamic Republic. Geraldine Brooks, author of Nine Parts of Desire
  • I was enthralled and moved by Azar Nafisi’s account of how she defied, and helped others to defy, radical Islam’s war against women. Her memoir contains important and properly complex reflections about the ravages of theocracy, about thoughtfulness, and about the ordeals of freedom—as well as a stirring account of the pleasures and deepening of consciousness that result from an encounter with great literature and with an inspired teacher. Susan Sontag
  • When I first saw Azar Nafisi teach, she was standing in a university classroom in Tehran, holding a bunch of red fake poppies in one hand and a bouquet of daffodils in the other, and asking, What is kitsch? Now, mesmerizingly, she reveals the shimmering worlds she created in those classrooms, inside a revolution that was an apogee of kitsch and cruelty. Here, people think for themselves because James and Fitzgerald and Nabokov sing out against authoritarianism and repression. You will be taken inside a culture, and on a journey, that you will never forget. Jacki Lyden, National Public Radio, author of Daughter of the Queen of Sheba

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 J | 2/17/2014

    " A good perspective on life in Iran before and after the fall of the Shah. It is time to read it again. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Barbara A | 2/15/2014

    " Bravery in the face of great peril; an abundance of passion for literature; and a commitment to world literacy--as to both knowing the Workd and knowing how to read; make this author and her dedicated circle true literary heroines, in the fullest definition of the phrase. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Douglas Bartlett | 2/12/2014

    " Enjoyed the depths of character hidden under the chador, and the close personal contact mixed with the wider challenges for Iran. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Dd Penners | 2/3/2014

    " Interesting subject, but book was very hard to read. Most didn't get through the book, and those who did didn't feel it was worth the effort. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jason Alley | 1/25/2014

    " I was talking to a retired English professor once and pulled this book out of my bag after she made reference to another professor who was beginning work on a project on art and democracy. The professor--herself a feminist and key figure in the early years of the university's Women's Studies interventions--responded with a quip about this book's solipsism. Many detractors have articulated similar sentiments. If you are looking for a historical, sociological and/or journalistic treatise on revolutionary and post-revolutionary Iran avoid this book. Nafisi's subtitle makes it claims from the get go. "A Memoir in Books." Nafisi is many things in this book but she is primarily an unabashed lover of literature--of reading--here. This is a book about the importance of art. About "...education as the practice of freedom" as bell hooks once called it. About trying to construct something like an ethical life/world in deeply compromised situations. Do yourself a favor and read this book. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Madmedea | 1/25/2014

    " Maverick book club choice for November "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Julie | 1/20/2014

    " A good read. Nafisi's Professor of English literature profession is obvious in the writing style which makes for a rather wordy and occasionally meandering story. But the depiction of life in Tehran is vivid and the literature analysis adds to it. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Colleen | 1/16/2014

    " God I hate this book. I have been slogging through it for over a year, and I will eventually finish it, because I'm always that determined to finish books that I own. And once I do, I will tell you just exactly why I hate this book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Catherine | 12/2/2013

    " I love it I love it I LOVE IT. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kathy | 8/24/2013

    " I found the reading upsetting because I take my freedom for granted. My wish is to never have to experience the oppression that these women dealth with. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kristen | 8/12/2013

    " Sometimes a bit dense and hard to get through chapters, but interesting and overall pretty good read if you like fiction mixed with non-fiction/political ideas. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Maura | 6/27/2013

    " Excellent book! I got it as a Christmas gift and before reading it, I read all the books they read in the book! "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Mary Kay | 10/17/2012

    " Just couldn't get into it. Found it boring. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Caitlin Minnich | 1/21/2012

    " It was slow in process of reading. But in retrospect, I like it a lot. It's been a couple of years since reading this, but I still think through much of the content. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Stephanie Bluth | 9/22/2011

    " Powerful. Period. A must read for everyone. Period. PERIOD. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Suzanne Eikenberry | 9/3/2011

    " I thought I was going to experience something of life for women in Tehran. Instead I got a very academic book of literary criticism. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kelsey | 6/29/2011

    " A combination of literature, culture, and the scope of government wound up in the life of a woman on the fray of society. Perfect book! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Diane | 6/26/2011

    " Interesting book. It was a good way to read about the authors, as well as understand the history of Tehran and Iran. I would recomment it "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gay | 6/22/2011

    " I read this a long time ago and it was intriquing. Can't imagine living without the freedoms we tend to take for granted. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Polly | 6/22/2011

    " interdisciplinary
    great for students of AP literature "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Grandma | 6/21/2011

    " One of the many books I have read on women and Islam "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Deborah | 6/15/2011

    " A huge subject condensed into a novel which attempts to cover it extensively. The result is an enlightening but frustrating read. The book fails to cover the subject fully from either an historical or human perspective. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Marcus | 6/14/2011

    " A book I should care about because of the social importance the activities in the book share. I just couldn't find a personal connection. "

Write a Review
What is FlexPass?
  • Your first audiobook is just $5.95
  • Over 90% are at or below $12.95
  • "LOVE IT" guarantee
  • No time limits or expirations
About the Author
Author Azar Nafisi

Azar Nafisi is a professor at John Hopkins University. She has written for the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Wall Street Journal among others. She lives in Washington DC with her husband and two children.