Author Azar Nafisi on Iran

How American conceptions about Iran have changed

After finishing her schooling in America in 1979, Azar Nafisi (author of THE REPUBLIC OF IMAGINATION) moved back to Iran. When she returned to America in 1997 she found that views toward Iran had substantially changed, focusing largely on religious extremism.

THE REPUBLIC OF IMAGINATION

A Life in Books

A New York Times bestseller

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

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.

AzarNafisi
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, and is the author of Anti-Terra: A Critical Study of Vladimir Nabokov’s Novels. She lives in Washington D.C. with her husband and two children.

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