Azar Nafisi


Press

Videos:

New York Public Library 2015

 Miami International Book Fair 2014

PBS NewsHour (10/22/2014)

Late Night With Seth Meyers (10/14/2014)

NPR Weekend Edition Interview (10/19/2014)

NPR’s Rachel Martin speaks with Azar Nafisi about her new book, The Republic of Imagination, a reflection on America through three of its most memorable books. Listen here. 

Radio Times with Marty Moss-Coane (10/23/2014)


PAAIA

(March 2017)

Azar Nafisi speaks at the PAAIA Nowruz Reception on Capitol Hill. (Watch here)

PBS

(February 2017)

Azar Nafisi is interviewed while participating in AWP 2017. (Watch here)

Publisher’s Weekly

(February 2017)

Little more than an hour after three ninth circuit Federal judges ruled that a district judge’s restraining order on the Trump administration’s travel ban would not be lifted, AWP 2017 keynote speaker Azar Nafisi launched into her remarks to 1,500 people at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. Thursday evening by raising a water glass to those three judges, She then eviscerated President Trump and his world view in a fiery presentation liberally sprinkled with literary, historical, and cultural references. Nafisi, the author of Reading Lolita in Tehran and an immigrant to the U.S. from Iran, appealed to the audience to be “good writers, good teachers, [and] good artists,” in [resisting] the tyranny” of the president. (Continue reading here)

Telerama

(February 2017)

D’origine iranienne, professeure de littérature à Washington, l’auteure du best-seller “Lire Lolita à Téhéran” revient sur les décrets anti-immigration du président américain. Et rappelle combien les œuvres de fiction, indispensables à la compréhension de l’actualité, sont une forme de résistance. (Continue reading here)

The Aspen Institute

(January 2017)

Life after a totalitarian revolution is not unlike a day after a cyclone. The air may be crisp and brilliant, but there is plenty of debris around to remind us of what is missing. You have to ask yourself, Where should I start to pick up the pieces? In a country as ancient as Iran, telling stories has been a time-tested way of resisting political, social and cultural invasion. Our stories and myths became our home, creating a sense of continuity with a past that had been so consistently plundered and obliterated. For many of us, lighting out was the only way to survive; it was not always possible or desirable in a physical sense, but we could escape through the realm of imagination and ideas. (Continue reading here)

PEN America

(January 2017)

I don’t want Trump’s speech to have a “presidential tone,” whatever that is, or be gracious & generous, extending a hand to his opponents, apologizing to John Lewis, Muslims & Mexicans, or explaining how as President he is honored to represent & protect the rights of everyone, regardless of race, gender, national origins, religion, ethnicity or political beliefs. I don’t want him to condemn Russia, support the Intelligence reports, explain how running for president taught him humility, or quote from the Founders & great Civic leaders, repeating Washington’s dedication to public service, Lincoln’s government by the people for the people, Stanton’s defense of women’s rights or Martin Luther King’s dream. I don’t ask that he promise free quality healthcare & public education, defending the country’s culture, its celebration of ideas & imagination, reminding us that America has been a refuge for both great scientists, writers, artists & thinkers escaping tyranny and the “tired,” the “poor,” the “huddled masses”—legal or illegal. (Continue reading here)

The Aspen Institute

(January 2017)

“During a walk through snowy Aspen, Iranian-American author Azar Nafisi took a break to discuss the books that have changed her view of the world, the intersection between science and the arts, and her advice for millennials.” (Watch the video here and the video of her speech here)

Association of Writers and Writing Programs

(January 2017)

Considering the times we live in I recommend a revisiting of Melville’s The Confidence Man! To connect or reconnect to the world, Andrew Solomon’s Far & Away is a beautifully written nonfiction book about his travel experiences. Peter Sis’s illustrated book of the Persian poet Attar’s masterpiece, The Conference of the Birds, is a breathtaking example of turning words into images, and connecting to other cultures through imagination, filled with movement and beauty. (Continue reading the interview here)

Actualitte

(December 2016)

Pour les passionnés de dirigeables et littérature, un voyage à Prague deviendra vite une nécessité. Pour les seuls adorateurs de la littérature, le spectacle vaut certainement le détour. À Prague c’est lors d’une soirée spéciale que le centre d’art contemporain DOX a ouvert au public son dirigeable en bois, installé entre deux bâtiments. (Continue reading here)

Mezo

(December 2016)

Last night, in the Czech Republic, writers Patrik Ouředník (author of Europeana) and Azar Nafisi (author of Reading Lolita in Tehran) boarded an airship lodged between two buildings of Prague’s DOX Centre for Contemporary Art. They found an audience there, in that airship — and then they read to this audience. (Continue reading here)

Czech TV Channel 24

(December 2016)

Íránská spisovatelka Azar Nafisi před emigrací do Spojených států vedla bytové semináře o západní literatuře. Odpor vůči tyranii a přesvědčení o osvobozující síle literatury se prolíná všemi jejími díly. Mluvila o nich také při diskusi v pražském Centru současného umění DOX, kde byla jedním z prvních hostů vzducholodi Gulliver. (Continue reading here)

Radio Farda

(December 2016)

گفت‌وگو با آذر نفیسی؛ ادبیات، امروز را پیش‌بینی کرده بود

(Click here to continue reading)

WNPR News

(November 2016)

The one thing we knew for sure was that by the time we got to today, yesterday would be over.

And it is.

And we have a new President-Elect.

This hour we look at today and start to think about tomorrow.

(Click here to listen to the interview)

Tavaana

(November 2016)

In 2014, after the publication of my book The Republic of Imagination, I had an interview with Mariam Memarsadeghi, co-founder & co-director of the human rights organization, Tavaana. As always talking to Mariam was very enjoyable, especially since we chose to have it at the Smithsonian’s Freer Sackler galleries, a part of my Republic of Imagination in Washington DC.
My book is in fact about the process of becoming an American citizen & what that process has meant to me as well as a critique of this beloved country that I now call home through the eyes of a recent immigrant. Today Tavaana tweeted this interview, reminding us of how prescient it had been of what is happening today. I thought I would share it with you with my thanks to Mariam and Tavaana.

(Click here for the full interview)

Barely South Review

(October 2016)

More than thirteen years ago, Azar Nafisi, whose three books of nonfiction have been New York Times Bestsellers, from her Book Sense Book of the Year Award for Nonfiction debut, Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books (Random House, 2008), to her most recent book of nonfiction, The Republic of Imagination, (Penguin Books, 2014), began writing about the subversive power of literature. During Old Dominion University’s (ODU) 2016 Literary Festival, Nafisi referenced her latest book and began a dialogue of how society identifies our bodies. We are categorized by what we can and cannot do. In Nafisi’s case, she found herself pigeonholed in an academic setting by being requested to teach literature courses based on her ethnic identity. She responded by saying, “I want to teach dead white guys simply because they are not me!” (Continue reading here)

Corriere dela Sera

(August 2016)

Il dibattito sul burkini è «una questione complessa, che non può essere limitata al modo in cui viene discussa in questo momento» e andrebbe capita nel contesto della discussione sul velo non solo in Occidente ma anche in Medio Oriente, spiega Azar Nafisi, l’autrice iraniana-americana di «Leggere Lolita a Teheran». (Click here to continue reading)

Videracy

(August 2016)

I have for many years criticized the simplistic & reductionist views of Iran and Islam. This video summarizes my views on this issue & is very relevant to the debate going on now. My objection goes beyond politics, it questions an attitude (whether pro or con, right or left) that reduces all to ideology, looks for the most comfortable answer confirming its own prejudices and presuppositions rather than relying on reality, on truth, an attitude that is based more on ignorance than knowledge, complacency rather than curiosity, and indifference rather than empathy. All you have to do is study the history, experience the culture, examine the facts!- Azar Nafisi (Click here to watch the interview)

The Wall Street Journal

(July 2016)

Click here to see Reading Lolita in Tehran on the list of bestsellers!

The Guardian

(July 2016)

Do you remember the fox? Not just any fox, this one is a sage; the one that reveals the truth to the Little Prince, who reveals it to the pilot, who reveals it to us, the readers. As he says goodbye to his friend, the fox tells the Little Prince, “Here is my secret. It’s quite simple: One sees clearly only with the heart. Anything essential is invisible to the eyes.” When as a child I first heard my father read me The Little Prince in a sunny room in Tehran, I was not aware that the story, along with tales from Shahnameh: The Persian Book of KingsPinocchio, the work of Mulla Nasrudin, the Alice stories, The Wizard of Oz and The Ugly Duckling, among others, would become one of the main pillars of my “republic of imagination”. (Continue reading here)

Le Canard Enchaine

(June 2016)

2016-06-29-1992@CANARD_ENCHAINE

Babelio

(June 2016)

Une très, très belle découverte de ce début de semaine avec cet essai d’Azar Nafisi, auteure iranienne dont je fais la connaissance avec moult bonheur… en prenant également note d’un autre texte antérieur , “Lire Lolita à Téhéran”, que je m’empresserai de lire après cette extraordinaire “République de l’imagination”. (Continue reading here)

Le Monde

(June 2016)

Serait-ce là le triste paradoxe de la littérature ? Désirée et savourée lorsqu’elle est interdite, elle serait dédaignée, ou simplement oubliée, dans les sociétés qui y ont librement accès ? Telle est l’une des conclusions que l’on serait tenté de tirer du nouveau livre d’Azar Nafisi, grande érudite d’origine iranienne et professeure de lettres anglophones, d’abord à Téhéran, puis à Washington. (Continue reading here)

Telerama

(June 2016)

Iranienne ou américaine ? La romancière exilée opte pour une troisième citoyenneté, celle des amoureux de la fiction… et de la libre-pensée. (Continue reading here)

Press Reader

(May 2016)

Le Pouvoir de l’imagination (Continue reading here)

Columbia Global Centers

(May 2016)

On May 8, booklovers crowded into the Paris Center for a discussion taking place within the Republic of the Imagination, the eponymous space defined in Azar Nafisi’s latest book. Nafisi, author of the best-seller Reading Lolita in Tehran, as the first guest in the World Writers’ Series, “La Bibliothèque Intime”, a continuation of the World Writers’ Festival featuring conversations with renowned authors. (Click here to view the video)

France Culture

(May 2016)

Après la défense de la fiction via le rétablissement d’une frontière entre fiction et réalité plaidée par la professeure de littérature Françoise Lavocat (voir notre émission de mercredi dernier), c’est aujourd’hui une écrivaine qui prend la défense de la fiction, avec nous dans la première partie de notre émission aujourd’hui. (Continue reading here)

FORA.tv

Watch Azar discuss Andrew Solomon’s recent book, “Far and Away.” (Click here for the full video)

The Paper

1981年,伊朗女学者阿扎尔·纳菲西(Azar Nafisi)从海外回到祖国伊朗的大学中任教西方文学课程,却正好遇到伊斯兰革命,她所选用的《洛丽塔》等经典西方文学作品均为政府明令禁止的篇目。而在生活上,她也不满对女性穿着与行为的种种限制。(Continue reading here)

Person Place Thing with Randy Cohen

(April 2016)

Born in Tehran and educated in Switzerland and the University of Oklahoma, thus setting some kind of record for cultural contrast, she taught English literature at Tehran University and is now a fellow at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. Like millions of admirers, I first heard of her with the publication of Reading Lolita in Tehran. Her most recent book is The Republic of Imagination. We convened at Mark Twain House with musical guest Mamie Minch. (Listen to the conversation here)

Connecticut Magazine

(March 2016)

Iranian writer and educator Azar Nafisi burst into the American mainstream in 2003 with her well-known best-seller Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books. Now an American citizen, Nafisi, a staunch advocate for women’s rights in the Muslim world and beyond, will be the guest of the Mark Twain House & Museum on March 10 at 7 p.m. as she discusses her life, her writings and her newest book, The Republic of Imagination: A Life in Books, in which she cites The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn as a major influence on her life. (Continue reading here)

PBS Finding Your Roots

(March 2016)

Discover how actress Julianna Margulies, author Azar Nafisi and chef Lidia Bastianich are bound together by their ancestors’ singular and deeply human desire to preserve their most cherished traditions. (Watch the full video here)

First- Year Experience 2016 Random House

(February 2016)

Azar Nafisi, author of THE REPUBLIC OF IMAGINATION: A LIFE IN BOOKS (Penguin Books), speaks about his book at the First-Year Experience® (FYE) 2016 Conference in Orlando, FL. (To watch the video click here)

C-span

(February 2016)

Historians and authors talked about how totalitarian regimes destroy cultural sites and artifacts in order to obscure historical memory from the public. (To watch the video click here)

Corriere dela Sera

(February 2016)

A vedere certe vecchie foto dell’Iran e quelle americane di oggi, la vita di Azar Nafisi sembra passata dalla notte al giorno. Forse è l’effetto del bianco e nero delle foto dei primi anni all’università a Teheran, con il bianco delle scritte a gesso sulla lavagna, nera, e il nero del velo a incorniciare il volto, chiaro; opposto alla vivacità a colori della nuova vita americana, radiosa negli scatti al matrimonio del figlio Dara (nel 2015, mentre la sorella si è sposata nel 2014). In una c’è anche Bryce, il cane di Dara: «Da piccola — dice Nafisi — ne avrei tanto voluto uno, ma mia madre era contro gli animali domestici». A Bryce hanno messo una cravatta blu, con puntini bianchi, come quella dello sposo, racconta via mail la scrittrice che vive a Washington, dove insegna alla John Hopkins University; ma con l’Iran, lasciato nel 1997, sempre nel cuore (ha anche una passione per l’Italia, dove è pubblicata da Adelphi: l’ultimo libro è La Repubblica dell’Immaginazione). (Continue reading here)

Thought Leaders 2015

(December 2015)

Azar was named one of the top global thought leaders in 2015. (Click here to continue reading)

Radio Sombra

(November 2015)

Author Azar Nafisi (Reading Lolita in Tehran) shares her love of literature and the greatness of James Baldwin. Listen as we discuss her latest book, The Republic of Imagination (Penguin Books)! With host Lilliam Rivera. (Click here for the full interview)

New Hampshire Humanities 2015 Annual Dinner Keynote Address

(October 2015)

For 40 years, New Hampshire Humanities has brought the transformative power of ideas to people of all walks of life, in all corners of our state. Azar Nafisi, author and human rights activist, delivered the Keynote Address at our 26th Annual Dinner on Tuesday, October 13 in Manchester, New Hampshire. Nafisi is the award-winning author of the best-sellers “Reading Lolita in Tehran” and “The Republic of Imagination.” (To watch the keynote click here)

Chicago Now

(October 2015)

It is a place without entry and exit polls. Where the paradigm of success is not billionaire Donald Trump and celebrity Kim Kardasian but rather the orphaned tramp Huck Finn and Jim the slave. It is where flawed literary individuals  — what author Henry James called “perfectly equipped failures,”– flourish and teach us to follow our convictions. It’s where we develop our capacity for empathy. Where Mark Twain refers to himself as one of America’s “many shaded exquisite mongrels.” (Continue reading here)

The Millions

(October 2015)

I first encountered Azar Nafisi as I was preparing to move from California to Connecticut. In Reading Lolita in Tehran, which I read just two months before departing, Nafisi describes her own “strange” feelings before she left Tehran for the United States. Although I cannot claim a move that momentous, that difficult, her thoughts resonated deeply with me. (Continue reading here)

Hay Festival

(October 2015)

What makes Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn the quintessentially American novel? (Watch the video clip here)

92Y

(October 2015)

Watch the Q&A with Azar Nafisi and Sandra Cisneros here.

New Hampshire Public Radio

(October 2015)

Following the Iranian revolution, the new regime grew stricter toward women, and cracked down on intellectuals. Our guest today, Azar Nafisi, stayed on in her position as literature professor to resist the system, but the restrictions ultimately pushed her out. Now a longtime U.S. resident, she advocates for intellectual freedom, and the importance of humanities. (Listen to the interview here)

Binghamton University

(October 2015)

“America’s number one enemy is conformity. And conformity comes out of blindness,” especially blindness toward others, Azar Nafisi told a crowd gathered to hear her speak as part of Binghamton University’s 2015 Homecoming program. (Continue reading here)

HuffPost Live

(October 2015)

If a piece of literature makes you uncomfortable or causes controversy, trying to censor that work, said best-selling author Azar Nafisi, is a “very close step to tyranny.”

For example, we need to discuss people like Hitler “because you need to understand him,” she said in an interview with HuffPost Live. Nafisi explained why schools and educators shouldn’t censor literary works that may be perceived as contentious.

“If you get traumatized reading a book, how will you live?” Nafisi said. “How will you live with ISIS? How will you live with mass shootings? How will you live with NRA? These are the questions that our children … should face.” (Watch the interview here)

Pordenone Literary Festival

(September 2015)

Watch the conversation between Azar Nafisi and Loredona Lipperini here.

Vanity Fair Italy

(September 2015)

È un pozzo di meraviglie, il nuovo libro dell’iraniana Azar Nafisi. Lo ha intitolato La Repubblica dell’immaginazione (Adelphi, pagg.  296, 19 euro; traduzione Mariagrazia Gini, illustrazioni Peter Sis), che significa «il giardino di Alice, un mondo parallelo a quello reale, i cui abitanti non hanno bisogno di passaporto né di documenti. Gli unici requisiti per l’ingresso sono una mente aperta, un incessante desiderio di conoscere e un indefinibile bisogno di fuggire dall’ordinario». Come? Grazie ai libri. (Continue reading here)

Rai News

(September 2015)

Molto prima di un mondo suddiviso in paesi e nazionalità, esisteva, nella mia mente, una Repubblica dell’immaginazione: un posto dove potevo spiccare il volo, libera dal peso delle noiose regole che governavano la mia esistenza terrena. LoredanaLipperini commenta l’ultimo libro di Azar Nafisi La Repubblica dell’immaginazione (Adelphi). (Watch the video here)

Rai News

(September 2015)

Con “Leggere Lolita a Teheran”, Azar Nafisi ci ha raccontato l’immenso potere eversivo di Nabokov e dei romanzi nell’Iran degli Ayatollah. Ora che è diventata cittadina americana e si è sottratta alla dittatura ci mette in guardia su altri rischi in un nuovo libro, la “Repubblica dell’immaginazione”. L’intervista di Paola Marinozzi. (Watch the video here)

Corriere TV

(September 2015)

Azar Nafisi, la scrittrice iraniana famosa per “Leggere Lolita a Teheran”, ha presentato al Teatro Parenti di Milano la sua ultima opera intitolata “La Repubblica dell’immaginazione”, un viaggio attraverso tre autori americani con al centro il potere che la fantasia e la letteratura possono esercitare sia sulla vita delle persone che sulla società. Per la Nafisi, che è fuggita dal regime degli Ayatollah e ora vive in America, in questi tempi difficili il vero coraggio e la vera forza non sono certo negli atti di forza dei terroristi ma stanno nelle parole di compassione del Papa. (Watch the video here)

Fahrenheit

(September 2015)

La domanda è: possiamo affrontare gli immensi problemi che ci si presentano oggi se non siamo capaci di immaginare il passato, di riflettere sul presente e di scorgere le opportunità di cambiare immaginando il futuro? Possiamo vincere le «guerre» contro il terrorismo senza la conoscenza autentica e l’empatia verso chi vive sotto la supremazia del terrore? Possiamo combattere i nostri nemici senza capire chi sono, perché agiscono così o, in altre parole, senza metterci nei loro panni? E possiamo salvare l’ambiente senza la scienza, che ce lo fa conoscere, e la capacità di immaginare le conseguenze dei nostri danni? Possiamo educare i nostri figli a diventare cittadini responsabili, a compiere le giuste scelte in questo mondo commerciale, in questa società dei consumi dove tutto, dai dentifrici ai candidati elettorali, viene confezionato, inventato, reinventato, e dove i soldi – non la passione e la compassione – regnano sovrani? Come rispondiamo a queste domande noi, in quanto lettori? (Listen here)

L’intervista alla scrittrice iraniana Azar Nafisi.

(September 2015)

Watch the video here.

L’Huffington Post

(September 2015)

Quando i regimi oppressivi del tuo Paese d’origine bruciano i libri e con essi la cultura, quando uccidono le persone solo perché vogliono imparare e conoscere, quando emanano leggi contro le donne, le minoranze, gli scrittori, gli artisti e i musicisti e dicono che gli studi accademici “sono nocivi” e – ancora – quando un ayatollah arriva a dire che le università sono “la fonte di ogni sciagura e più pericolose delle bombe”, non si ha molta scelta sul da fare. (Continue reading here)

Metro

(September 2015)

For book lovers, rainy weekends are a gift. You can curl up inside and read without feeling bad you aren’t, you know, out doing something. Whether you want to get a little brushed up on your pope knowledge, reflect on 9/11 or celebrate our country’s rich history of literature through the eyes of an outsider, these are the three new releases we’re most excited about this week. (Continue reading here)

The Guardian

(September 2015)

The theme of this year’s National Book Festival, which took place on Saturday at the sprawling Walter E Washington Convention Center in downtown Washington DC, was: “I cannot live without books.” That’s a quotation by Thomas Jefferson; the festival was also celebrating the 200th anniversary of the Library of Congress’s acquisition of his private library. Thousands turned out to testify to the truth of Jefferson’s phrase. (Continue reading here)

D la Repubblica

(September 2015)

L’autrice di “Leggere Lolita a Teheran” oggi insegna e vive a Washington. Dell’Occidente vede libertà e limiti, dice che ha votato Obama ma è delusa dagli accordi con l’Iran. Soprattutto, non smette di trovare nei romanzi la chiave per comprendere la realtà. E nel suo nuovo libro, legge Mark Twain, Sinclair Lewis, Chandler…(Continue reading here)

Jefferson Public Radio

(September 2015)

“Nobody cares about books anymore,” you might hear from time to time.  Azar Nafisi begs to differ. (Listen to the interview here)

PBS NewsHour

(September 2015)

PBS NewsHour correspondent Jeffrey Brown talks with Jane Hirshfield and Azar Nafisi about their latest works at the 2015 National Book Festival in Washington, D.C. (Watch the interview here)

The Guardian

(August 2015)

The author of the controversial Reading Lolita in Tehran tells us about the books she read when she was growing up in Iran that taught her important lessons about defending human rights. (Continue reading here)

BBC

(August 2015)

Azar Nafisi on a novel about Iran’s paranoia about Britain. (Listen to the interview here)

IranWire

(August 2015)

Azar Nafisi, the author of Reading Lolita in Tehran, is starting a new campaign about books and human rights. It’s called #BooksSave. Right after the 1979 revolution in Iran, Nafisi saw how the new government targeted writers and thinkers. Now, she sees a clear connection between the life of the imagination and the rights of individuals everywhere, not just in Iran. She wants other people to see it, too, and to share their experiences online. This week, Roland Elliott Brown speaks to her about the campaign. (Listen to the podcast here)

Chapter 16

(August 2015)

Azar Nafisi is a devout believer, to put it mildly, in the transformative power of literature. In her 2003 bestseller, Reading Lolita in Tehran, books are a spiritual lifeline amid the horrific violence and repression of post-revolutionary Iran. Whether they can serve a similarly critical purpose in the twenty-first-century U.S. is the question at the heart of The Republic of Imagination: America in Three Books. Or rather, the question is whether they will; Nafisi’s fear is that we simply don’t respect our own literature enough to let it save us. She combines memoir, social commentary, and literary criticism to demonstrate that Americans have an extraordinarily rich cultural resource—one that guides us toward our better impulses—and that as a nation we are neglecting and devaluing it at our peril. (Continue reading here)

Penguin Blog

(July 2015)

“Readers are born free and they ought to remain free,” Vladimir Nabokov used to remind his students.  Before I was a writer I was a reader and my books are celebrations of the act of reading. It was through the bedtime stories I heard from my father as a small child that I first discovered the Republic of Imagination, a place that like Alice’s Wonderland, and Looking Glass World or Dorothy’s Oz is in everyone’s own backyard, no matter where they come from. Through these stories I travelled the imaginary terrain of many countries I had never visited, one night we were in Iran with our epic poet Ferdowsi’s Book of Kings, next night we travelled to Italy with Pinocchio, then flew to France with The Little Prince, Turkey with Mullah Nassredin, Denmark with The Little Match Girl, Britain with Alice, or America with Charlottes Web. It was only decades later that I discovered how fiction and reality interact, each subverting, transforming and shaping the other, how imagination connects different cultures and realities. (Continue reading here)

The Saturday Paper

(July 2015)

While out for a stroll on Melbourne’s Collins Street, writer Azar Nafisi, a stranger to the city, asked a passer-by which way to the river. Introductions were made. Our hero, Mack, otherwise unengaged this sunny winter morning, proceeded to usher our protagonist on an impromptu tour of the Yarra. Local history was traced. Laughter was shared; souvenir photographs taken. The two parted ways, having spent a lovely morning together. As unexpected river-romps go, there’s a hint of Huckleberry Finn – one of Nafisi’s favourite tales – at least in the telling. (Continue reading here)

Penguin Blog

(July 2015)

My students and I had a joke among us about the literary snobs in Iran who would call everybody by their first name. Between us, we referred to our favourite authors by their first name in the same way and so to us he was never Bellow but always Saul. (Continue reading here)

Salon

(July 2015)

It all began one Friday morning, a weekend in Iran, over breakfast. My father had promised me the night before that he would tell me a new story instead of taking me to the movies, which was our usual weekend treat. That was when he first introduced me to Alice. I think he made a fair amount of it up as he went along, as I never found many of his Alice stories when I was old enough to read the books myself. But I can still remember his describing how Alice, having taken a big gulp of a special potion, began to grow smaller and smaller. “And then,” he said, “she discovered a hooka smoking caterpillar.” (Continue reading here)

Australian Broadcasting Corporation

(July 2015)

In the play ‘Shadowlands’, author CS Lewis says, “We read to know we are not alone.”
Our next guest offers a slightly different take on books. Literature she says is the space that enables humans to be more than their current circumstances. Azar Nafisi is an Iranian born author who worked at Tehran University where she was banned from campus after refusing to wear a headscarf and ignoring demands to stop teaching Western literature. (Watch the interview here)

SBS

(July 2015)

Azar Nafisi is the critically acclaimed author of Reading Lolita in Tehran, a long-running number one New York Times bestseller published in thirty-two languages, and Things Ive Been Silent About, also a New York Times bestseller. (Listen to the Farsi language interview here)

702 ABC Sydney

(July 2015)

Literature is the space that enables humans to be more than their current circumstances, and to have vision and understanding that advances the world, according to Iranian-born American author Azar Nafisi. (Continue reading here)

The Sydney Morning Herald

(July 2015)

The epilogue of Azar Nafisi’s new book, The Republic of Imagination, is devoted to James Baldwin, a writer who has been much quoted this year, as a new civil rights movement coalesces in the United States in response to police killings of unarmed black men. (Continue reading here)

SBS

(July 2015)

Azar Nafisi is the critically acclaimed author of Reading Lolita in Tehran, a long-running number one New York Times bestseller published in thirty-two languages, and Things Ive Been Silent About, also a New York Times bestseller. (Listen to the podcast here)

Write Along Radio

(July 2015)

Have you heard of the book Reading Lolita in Tehran? It was on the New York bestseller list for 117 weeks and has been translated into 32 languages. Well, toady we have a very special conversation with this book’s author, Azar Nafisi, who has just released a new book The Republic of Imagination. She is passionate, she is powerful, and she loves Huckleberry Finn. (Continue reading here)

The Wheeler Centre:

(July 2015)

Iranian–American writer and memoirist Azar Nafisi has built a career around her passion for interpreting literature from alternative and sometimes forbidden perspectives – and her dedication to the idea that narrative can be a liberating, transformative and subversive political and social force. (Continue reading here)

Australian Broadcasting Corporation

(June 2015)

As Iran and six major powers try to clinch an historic nuclear deal, Iranian American author Azar Nafisi is appealing for countries like Iran not to be seen just through the prism of politics. Azar Nafisi is the bestselling author of Reading Lolita in Tehran. (Listen to the interview here)

SMH

(June 2015)

The epilogue of Azar Nafisi’s new book, The Republic of Imagination, is devoted to James Baldwin, a writer who has been much quoted this year, as a new civil rights movement coalesces in the United States in response to police killings of unarmed black men. (Continue reading here)

Nantucket Book Festival

(June 2015)

Listen to the conversation between Azar Nafisi and Michael Schulder here.

Big Thinking, Federation for Humanities and Social Sciences

(June 2015)

Check out the video of Azar Nafisi’s talk here.

BookPeople of Moscow

(June 2015)

In the past year I heard Azar Nafisi, author of “Reading Lolita in Tehran” and “The Republic of Imagination” speak twice, and both were eloquent and passionate speeches about the importance of ideas and imagination to the continued existence of democracy and freedom. (Continue reading here)

The New York Times

(June 2015)

For a while, every time I borrowed a book from my local library in Washington, D.C., I was greeted by an Orwellian poster: “Big Brother Is Watching You!” I often wondered if others paused to reflect on the implication of these words, if they understood how profoundly living under surveillance distorts a society. It transforms your perspective, your manners, your relationships with friends, colleagues, students, with every waiter and cabdriver you meet. It changes your relationship with yourself. (Continue reading here)

The New York Times

(May 2015)

The Reading Lolita in Tehran author and professor tweeted that she ditched her prepared speech at the last moment and decided instead to talk to the liberal arts college from her heart. Following the speech, she gave a moving interview about artistic creativity, empathy, and the comfortable dangers of politically correct thinking. (Continue reading here)

Times Higher Education

(May 2015)

When she arrived in the United States from Iran, recalled Professor Nafisi, she soon got irritated at being “categorised”: “It was assumed I would go into women’s studies or Islamic studies, so I said ‘You go into women’s studies or Islamic studies if you want to. I want to read the Dead White Males!’” (Continue reading here)

The Legatum Institute

(May 2015)

In Reading Lolita in Tehran, Nafisi told the story of how she secretly taught literature to students in Iran against the backdrop of political repression. In her new book, The Republic of Imagination, she argues that the humanities, in particular fiction, are just as threatened in the free world and remain no less important in a democracy. (Continue reading and watch the full panel discussion here)

BBC Podcast

(May 2015)

Rana Mitter and guests New York Times journalist David Brooks, the Iranian novelist Azar Nafisi and historian Tom Holland discuss the concept of humility. Vice or virtue? (Recorded earlier this week at the Hay Festival 2015) (Listen to the podcast here, scroll down)

BBC Radio 3

(May 2015)

Was Ralph Waldo Emerson right to say that a great person is always willing to be little? Rana Mitter and guests New York Times journalist David Brooks, novelist Azar Nafisi and historian Tom Holland discuss the concept of humility. Vice or underrated virtue? (Listen to the discussion here)

Claremont McKenna College Commencement

(May 2015)

Critically acclaimed author Azar Nafisi was the featured speaker at Claremont McKenna’s 68th Annual Commencement Ceremony, held May 16 on Pritzlaff Field.

Nafisi, who also received an honorary degree from CMC, urged graduates to use their liberal arts education to disrupt or “disturb the peace” and avoid complacency. “This is the main function of knowledge,” she said. “It is here to … provoke you to not only question the world but in fact pose yourselves as a question mark, to shed your prejudices, your assumptions, your presumptions about the world.” (Watch the interview here)

The Baltimore Sun

(May 2015)

The Baltimore Sun’s third annual book club will feature a trio of best-sellers that include a legal thriller, a mystery set on the coast of England during World War I, and a memoir that uses fiction to chart the American odyssey. Readers can meet the authors as well. (Continue reading here)

New Welsh Review

(May 2015)

It would be easy to describe The Republic of Imagination as a book about reading or America or Iran or politics or education. But exactly what this book is ‘about’ is not easy to say: it is a restless dialogue with life and identity, so full of questions, provocations and propositions that it is almost impossible to categorise. (Continue reading here)

The Guardian

(May 2015)

Neil Gaiman, Alison Bechdel and Art Spiegelman have stepped forward to host tables at Tuesday’s PEN gala in New York honouring the work of Charlie Hebdo, after writers including Peter Carey and Michael Ondaatje withdrew last week in protest. (Continue reading here)

Santa Fe Radio Cafe

(April 2015)

Azar Nafisi Author of Reading Lolita in Tehran and The Republic of Imagination: America in Three Books. She is a fellow at the Foreign Policy Institute of Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, DC. (Listen to the radio show here)

Smithsonian Magazine

(April 2015)

Born in Tehran as the daughter of the mayor, educated in Switzerland, with a PhD from the University of Oklahoma and a fellowship at Oxford, Azar Nafisi returned to Iran to teach literature in the late 1980s just as the Islamic revolution was clamping down.

Fired for refusing to wear a headscarf, she conducted study groups at her home with a handful of students looking at some of her favorite writing. A book about that experience, Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books (2003), became an international sensation, with two years on U.S. bestseller lists and translated into 32 languages. (Continue reading here)

The New York Public Library Podcasts

(April 2015)

With her national bestseller Reading Lolita in Tehran, Azar Nafisi became one of our most prominent champions of literature. A professor and author, Nafisi was born in Iran and moved to the United States in 1997. Her most recent book, The Republic of Imagination: American in Three Books, was published in 2014. This week in the New York Public Library podcast, we’re sharing Nafisi’s recent appearance at LIVE from the NYPL in which she discussed reading, freedom, and entertainment. (Listen to the podcast here)

The Thousander Club (Blog)

(April 2015)

Azar Nafisi’s Reading Lolita in Tehran is a masterful work of non-fiction exactly because it intersects so movingly with works of fiction.  If the book were written as a standard autobiography it more than likely would have focused on names, dates, and strictly adhered to a rigid chronology.  Reading Lolita in Tehran, however, is not a standard work of non-fiction; it crisscrosses several genres, and in so doing places itself apart from other works of non-fiction as a memorable, personal, and moving book. (Continue reading here)

Pittsburgh City Paper

(March 2015)

Nazar Afisi sounded, in effect, an ideal keynote in last night’s kick-off event for the Pittsburgh Humanities Festival. She championed storytelling, and especially fiction, as necessary for our lives in general and for democracy in particular. (Continue reading here)

Womens eNews

(March 2015)

For a month celebrating both literacy and women’s history, treat yourself to great reading from Lebanon’s Hanan al-Shaykh, Nigeria’s Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Zimbabwe’s Tsitsi Dangarembga, Algeria’s Assia Djebar and Iran’s Azar Nafisi. (Continue reading here)

New Humanist

(March 2015)

In western democracies, is reading a political act?

Azar Nafisi, author of Reading Lolita in Tehran, discusses her new book, on the importance of fiction to democracy. (Continue reading here)

IranWire

(March 2015)

This week, Roland Elliott Brown presents our Nowruz Nuclear Special.

With Iran and the US speeding toward another nuclear deadline at the end of March, he speaks to a range of Iran specialists about what a deal would mean for the Iran, the United States, and the Middle East. (Listen to the show here)

NPR: The Kojo Nnamdi Show

(March 2015)

At a time of heated relations between Iran and the West, Persian food is bridging cultural divides. And no season is more mouthwatering for this colorful, rich cuisine than spring when Iran’s million-strong U.S. diaspora celebrates Nowruz, or Persian New Year. (Listen to the conversation here)

Bustle: 10 Books ‘House of Cards’ Claire Underwood Would Probably Store on Her Shelf in the White House

(March 2015)

In Season 3, Claire’s interest in global issues fuels her campaign to become U.S. Ambassador to the UN. Azar Nafisi’s incredible story of risking it all to make women’s literary education possible in Iran is the perfect read to remind a new member of the UN to keep women’s issues in the global landscape at the forefront of her mind. (Continue reading here)

BOLO Books

(March 2015)

Azar Nafisi is probably not the name you expected to see on a crime fiction blog this morning, but the truth of the matter is that Azar is supportive of all genres of literature and the dissemination of its power world-wide.

Best known for the best-selling memoir Reading Lolita in Tehran, Azar Nafisi’s latest book, The Republic of Imagination, continues her quest to examine life through the works of great literature and the effect these classics have on our society and our humanity. (Continue reading here)

Malaprop’s Bookstore Podcast

(February 2015)

Listen to the podcast here!

Buzzfeed Books

(February 2015)

Recently, five hundred independent booksellers gathered at a gorgeous, magisterial inn that F. Scott Fitzgerald used to stay at in Asheville, North Carolina. They were there on an important mission: the tenth annual Winter Institute, a conference organized by the American Booksellers Association, where booksellers, publishers, and some of the best contemporary authors mingle, attend educational sessions, and talk about books. (Continue reading here)

John Hopkins University Gazette

(February 2015)

“Are you lonesome tonight?” Elvis crooned the question in 1960. Half a dozen years later, the King’s mop-topped progeny rephrased it with a Liverpudlian accent. “All the lonely people—where do they all come from?” Azar Nafisi proffers an answer and an antidote to our isolation, detailing it with passion in her latest book, The Republic of Imagination. The remedy is in the title: the ability to call to mind things neither seen nor lived. (Continue reading here)

Publisher’s Weekly

(February 2015)

Azar Nafisi, the Iranian-born author of Reading Lolita in Tehran, was even more pointed in her Wednesday morning presentation. “Reading is living. Books are about life,” she insisted. “Where I come from, people are regularly killed in order to read books, in order to go to school, in order to study the humanities.” (Continue reading here)

Megan Haley Book Review

(February 2015)

Watch the video here!

Shelf Awareness

(February 2015)

In a rousing talk at yesterday’s breakfast at the Winter Institute in Asheville, N.C.–a talk that ended with an instant standing ovation–Azar Nafisi, author of Reading Lolita in Teheran and The Republic of Imagination, passionately discussed the importance of the book–and booksellers–for civilization, for democracy, for perpetuating human values and for creating empathy and connections between people of widely different times and places. (Continue reading here)

Library of Law and Liberty

(February 2015)

In her 2003 book, Reading Lolita in Tehran, Azar Nafisi demonstrated how the written word trumps tyranny. Nafisi interwove sometimes harrowing reminiscences of the Islamic Republic of Iran before and after the 1979 revolution with discussions of Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita, Henry James’s Daisy Miller, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, and Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. These and many other works were mined for their poetry of expression and their characters’ defiance. (Continue reading here)

American Booksellers Association

(February 2015)

Azar Nafisi, author of the international bestseller Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books (Random House), will deliver the Wednesday, February 11, breakfast keynote, “The Republic of Imagination,” at the American Booksellers Association’s Winter Institute 10 in Asheville, North Carolina. (Continue reading here)

Publishers Weekly

(January 2015)

Azar Nafisi is a one-woman powerhouse of political and literary force. Her books Reading Lolita in Tehran—a long-running bestseller published in 32 languages—and Things I’ve Been Silent About focus on the role of literature in fighting oppressive ideology and championing imagination. Born in Iran in 1955, Nafisi spent 18 years teaching English literature in Iran and now lives in Washington D.C., where she is a fellow at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies. (Continue reading here)

The Cure(ton) for a Bad Tumblr (Literature Blog)

(January 2015)

In an attempt to traverse the political terrain of the United States via its ficitive landscape, Azar Nafisi’s most recent foray into auto-biographical literary analysis proves to be as encapsualting as ever, her voice echoing those of her chosen American forebears, begging for a nation of reluctant readers to put down their phones, laptops, and kindles, and pick up those great works of imaginative prose, reinstituting the republic of imagination to which Nafisi has always been a natural born citizen. (Continue reading here)

The New Yorker

(January 2015)

Literature and America are the twin poles of this collection of essays. Tracing her path toward becoming an American, Nafisi begins with her English tutor in Tehran reading “The Wizard of Oz” aloud. Later, her itinerant life between Iran and America draws her to Huckleberry Finn, who loathes the very idea of a home. (Continue reading here)

Washington Independent

(December 2014)

I first met Azar Nafisi in April of 1995 when listening back to audio interviews NPR reporter Jacki Lyden recorded in Iran. That was before Nafisi’s bestseller, Reading Lolita in Tehran. Listeners heard Nafisi in a university classroom, challenging her students to think critically through the subtle subversion of writers Jane Austen and Vladimir Nabokov. (Continue reading here)

New Statesman

(December 2014)

What made Azar Nafisi’s “memoir in books”, Reading Lolita in Tehran, such a remarkable success? Published in 2003, Nafisi’s reading of some of western literature’s greatest works, set in the context of revolutionary Iran, struck a chord with readers around the world: it appeared in over 30 languages and spent 117 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. (Continue reading here)

Upcoming4.me

(December 2014)

Similarly to “Reading Lolita in Tehran”, in her new book, Nafisi weaves together memoir with literary criticism choosing to deliver her argument through her favourite American novels, namely Mark Twain’s “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn”, Sinclair Lewis’s “Babbitt”, and Carson McCullers’s “The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter”. Anyone who every enjoyed reading a book will recognize her arguments. Book is not just a collection of words. It is a permission to dream, a vehicle for imagination and Nafisi early on posits that books are the only world without boundaries and no better choice exists that fiction. Non-fiction is simply too close to reality. (Continue reading here)

Living Read Girl (Blog)

(December 2014)

Professor Azar Nafisi, best known as the author of Reading Lolita in Tehran, embraces the literature of her newly adopted country in The Republic of Imagination, which blends memoir with literary(and occasionally social) critique, by taking three novels as solid defining points for what it means to be American. (Continue reading here)

Everyday eBook

(December 2014)

In The Republic of Imagination, Azar Nafisi considers several American classics in the context of modern American civic and educational culture. If that sounds ambitious, that’s because it is. At its heart this book is about what it means to be an engaged citizen, whether you’re in Iran, the United States, or the titular Republic of Imagination. And, as she did in Reading Lolita in Tehran, Nafisi gives us a lot of food for thought. (Continue reading here)

NPR Best Books of 2014

(December 2014)

Sure, you’re just looking for a book to read while you’re waiting for dinner to cook — but here’s a brief reminder courtesy of Iranian-American author Azar Nafisi: Reading fiction is an act of bravery, citizenship and imagination. (Continue reading here)

Windmill Books

(December 2014)

The Folio Society’s recent survey to identify the ‘ten books most valuable to humanity’ yielded interesting results. Amongst the top ten were just two novels – 1984 by George Orwell and Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird (published as an enhanced eBook by Cornerstone earlier this year). Both are great novels to be sure, but are these really the only two that matter to us? With Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men being threatened with exclusion from the national curriculum, perhaps it’s time take a look at our perceptions of literature. (Continue reading here)

The Millions

(November 2014)

Literature –– no, the world –– needs more people like Azar Nafisi. A strident proponent of fiction, Nafisi has done much more than simply write about literature and its vital role in our lives, she’s taught it –– in America, England, Iran, and in lecture halls all over the world, in which she advocates for literature as an antidote to ideology. (Continue reading here)

StarTribune

(November 2014)

“The Republic of Imagination” (Viking, $28.95) by Azar Nafisi is, for me, the most inspirational book of 2014. It’s as much a cautionary tale about the dangers of losing touch with important works of fiction as it is an homage to some of her favorite novels. (Continue reading here)

C-Span

(November 2014)

Watch the video here!

AudioFile Magazine Book Review

(November 2014)

This genre-defying gem of an audiobook is an exhilarating reminder of the power of literature to make us think, feel, and strive. (Continue reading here)

The Toronto Star

(November 2014)

Azar Nafisi just can’t help herself. The Iranian-born author, best known for her 2003 bestseller Reading Lolita in Tehran, no sooner arrives at Ben McNally Books for an interview than she’s asking for recommendations, poking around shelves and buying four novels. (Continue reading here)

Sunday Magazine on CBS Radio 97.3

(November 2014)

Azar Nafisi is the New York Time bestselling author of Reading Lolita in Tehran. In her new book The Republic of Imagination: America in Three Books, Nafisi argues for the inclusion of more fiction and arts in the American public school curriculum. (Listen to the full interview here)

Brooklyn Rail

(November 2014)

Azar Nafisi grew up in a middle-class Iranian family under the Shah. As a young girl, she romanticized America based on the ideals, energy, and aspirations celebrated in America’s best books, music, films, and art. As an adult, Nafisi taught several Western novels under the Iranian theocracy that put a bounty on Salman Rushdie’s head. She found solace from her birth country’s violent oppression through her conviction in the subversive nature of ideas and literature and their universal potential in open or closed societies—the basis of her most famous bestseller, Reading Lolita in Tehran. (Continue reading here)

CBC Radio (Canada)

(November 2014)

It is not for nothing that tyrants burn books and imprison authors. Azar Nafisi says totalitarian regimes fear the power of ideas and nowhere are ideas more forceful than in fiction. Today, the author of “Reading Lolita in Tehran” introduces us to “The Republic of Imagination” where the power of stories and story-telling can determine the strength of a democracy. (Continue reading here)

Cleveland.com Book Review

(November 2014)

While on tour in Seattle for her bestselling “Reading Lolita in Tehran,” Azar Nafisi met a fellow Iranian who claimed talking to Americans about books was a waste of time. (Continue reading here)

MPRNews Review

(November 2014)

And an enlightened citizenry is one that reads and appreciates its literature, Azar Nafisi argues in her latest book, “The Republic of Imagination: America in Three Books.”(Continue reading here)

The Wichita Eagle

(October 2014)

“The Republic of Imagination” by Azar Nafisi (Viking, $28.95) –In this new memoir, Nafisi responds to those who say nothing can be learned from fiction. (Continue reading here)

KSCO Radio

(October 2014)

This week as my special guest from the arts I’m pleased to be interviewing Azar Nafisi, New York Times best-selling author, essayist and academic. Azar is perhaps best known for her book Reading Lolita in Tehran, which tells the story of how, against the backdrop of morality squads and executions, Azar taught American literature to her students in Iran. (Continue reading here)

The Rumpus

(October 2014)

Viv Groskop interviews author Azar Nafisi about her book, Reading Lolita in Tehran, which chronicles her experience teaching controversial works in Tehran. Nafisi also discusses her motivation to write her most recent book, The Republic of Imagination, which argues that literature promotes a “democratic way of living”… (Continue reading here)

Washington City Paper

(October 2014)

Iranian author Azar Nafisi first became known to American audiences in 2003, when she published Reading Lolita in Tehran, a memoir about the book group she led for seven female students after leaving her job as an English professor at the University of Tehran. (Continue reading here)

Book Riot Podcast

(October 2014)

Listen to the podcast here.

Net Persian

(October 2014)

Azar Nafisi was born in Iran in 1955 and was an English professor in Tehran University before immigration to US in 1977. She is now a fellow at John Hopkins University. (Continue reading here)

My Book Strings

(October 2014)

As an Iranian emigrant and somebody who has taught literature in both Iran and the United States, Nafisi has the advantage of looking at American literature from different angles. (Read the entire article here)

S.Krishna’s Books

(October 2014)

A gorgeous and moving read about American culture through the prism of three modern classics, The Republic of Imagination: America in Three Novels is a thoughtful work of literary criticism that shows how novels remain relevant long after they have been published. (Continue reading here)

LA Downtown News

(October 2014)

Nafisi’s bestselling book, Reading Lolita in Tehran has won numerous awards, including the Prix du Meilleur Livre Étranger, the Non-Fiction Book of the Year Award from Book Sense and the Frederic W. Ness Book Award. (Continue reading here)

The GA Voice

(October 2014)

Charis kicks off its 40th anniversary year celebrations by welcoming Azar Nafisi, author of “Reading Lolita in Tehran” and “The Republic of Imagination,” to the First Baptist Church of Decatur in conjunction with the Georgia Center for the Book. (Continue reading here)

Living Read Girl Blog

(October 2014)

Meeting a fellow reader is always a charming experience, especially in print form, and I eagerly recall when I first came across one of the true champions of promoting love of literature that we have today, Azar Nafisi. (Continue reading here)

Pure Politics

(October 2014)

In her book, The Republic of Imagination: America in Three Books, Azar Nafisi shares her journey to America and how it became her adopted home.  She is proud to be an American but yet still connects to her Iranian roots.(Continue reading here)

Chicago Tribune

(October 2014) Read the book review here.

Arts Atl

(October 2014)

Azar Nafisi’s international blockbuster Reading Lolita in Tehran chronicled her surreptitious teaching of forbidden Western texts in an Iran plagued by Islamic fundamentalism. The 2003 memoir is a hymn to the power and necessity of reading. (Continue reading here)

NPR Review

(October 2014)

Azar Nafisi’s international blockbuster Reading Lolita in Tehran chronicled her surreptitious teaching of forbidden Western texts in an Iran plagued by Islamic fundamentalism. The 2003 memoir is a hymn to the power and necessity of reading. (Continue reading here)

Star Tribune Talking Volumes

(October 2014)

The last time Azar Nafisi came to the Twin Cities, she took great delight in visiting one of the St. Paul houses where F. Scott Fitzgerald lived. (Continue reading here)

The Guardian

(October 2014)

The importance of ideas and the imagination is that they really defy borders and limitations. Books are representative of the most democratic way of living. (Read the full article here)

The Independent

(October 2014)

Read. Read deeply. Read as if your life depended on it: identity and citizenship are at stake. This is the message of Azar Nafisi’s passionate polemic. Should we need this reminder? No, but we do. The trends Nafisi detects in America are equally evident in Britain. (Continue reading here)

The Leonard Lopate Show

(October 2014) If you missed the live interview, listen to it here!

The Washingtonian

(October 2014)

As anyone who read Azar Nafisi’s popular 2003 memoir, Reading Lolita in Tehran, knows, her genius is examining a life through literature. In that book, it was Nabokov who helped Nafisi navigate the Iranian revolution of 1979. (Continue reading here)

Goodreads: “Good Minds Suggest- Azar Nafisi’s Favorite Books About Why We Read”

(October 2014)

The idea for her new book, The Republic of Imagination, came to Azar Nafisi while she was finishing her bestseller, Reading Lolita in Tehran, which related her experience teaching American literature in Iran. (Continue reading here)

The Mancunion (Machester, UK)

(October 2014)

Azar Nafisi’s background is important in a reading of her third novel ‘The Republic of Imagination’; she is a woman who implores a powerful and passionate case for the huge and vital role of fiction and literature in our world today. (Continue reading here)

The Kojo Nnamdi Show on NPR

(October 2014) If you missed the radio interview, listen to it in full here.

Salon: “Why This Iranian-Born Writer Fears for America’s Soul: The Author of Reading Lolita in Tehran Believes That the U.S. is Abandoning Its Art and Literature at Its Peril”

(October 2014)

Sometimes it takes an outsider to see us plain. This holds true even when the “us” crying out to be brought into focus already thinks of itself as a nation of outsiders. That’s the premise of Azar Nafisi’s new book, “The Republic of Imagination: America in Three Books,” a series of linked essays that explores the U.S. through its literature. (Continue reading here)

Boston Globe Book Review

(October 2014)

Do novels still matter in a world where real-life stories are so dramatic? Azar Nafisi’s captivating “Republic of the Imagination: America in Three Books” answers this question with a resounding yes. (Continue reading here)

The Washington Post: “A Celebration of American Reading From the Author of Reading Lolita in Tehran”

(October 2014)

Azar Nafisi is an enthusiast. In the epilogue to her book, “The Republic of Imagination,” she states that she began her analysis (but, really, celebration) of American literature intending to write about 24 books. (Continue reading here)

O Magazine Includes “The Republic of Imagination” in List of “10 Titles to Pick Up Now”

(November 2014) Check it out in the November issue of O Magazine, on sale now!

Vanity Fair Review: The Republic of Imagination

(November 2014) Check out the review in the November issue of Vanity Fair, on sale now!

Star Tribune Review

(October 2014)

Our country’s founding fathers knew that to build America’s roads and bridges, we needed engineers; to grow America’s economy, we needed businesses; but to ensure America’s freedom, we needed an enlightened citizenry. (Continue reading here)

 

The Santa Cruz Sentinel: “Author Azar Nafisi Returns with Spirited Defense of American Literature”

(October 2014)

In her memorable 2003 best-selling memoir “Reading Lolita in Tehran,” Iranian-born college professor Azar Nafisi told a thrilling tale of how she used Western literature as a tool to fight against the oppression of the Iranian theocracy in the years following the Islamic revolution in her home country. (Continue reading here)

 

The Kansas City Star: “Republic of Imagination Makes a Case for Literature in U.S. Schools”

(October 2014)

What does Huck Finn have to do with the Iranian revolution? Azar Nafisi makes a strong case for the answer “everything” and also with democracy in America. (Continue reading here)

 

Reviews by Amos Lassen: “The Republic of Imagination by Azar Nafisi- The Importance of Fiction”

(October 2014)

Azar Nafisi (“Reading Lolita in Tehran”) met an Iranian immigrant at the signing of one of her books and he told her that “Americans could never appreciate their own literature the way that oppressed Iranians would” and she set out to prove him wrong. (Continue reading here)

Penguin Blog: Interview with Azar Nafisi

(July 2014)

So my first attempts at writing come through writing on these notes that I carry everywhere I go. Like I’m sitting on the metro, I’m going to—even sometimes in the middle of grocery shopping, I put my cart to one side and start writing, so that is how it all starts. (Continue reading here)

Kirkus Review: The Republic of Imagination

(July 2014)

The Iranian-American author of Reading Lolita in Tehran (2003) makes a passionate argument for returning to key American novels in order to foster creativity and engagement. (Continue reading here)

Author Ann Patchett Mentions “The Republic of Imagination” in Interview with Boston Globe

(July 2014)

I’d never read any Lewis. I picked this up because Azar Nafisi’s “The Republic of Imagination” is coming out this fall. I loved her “Reading Lolita in Tehran.” This book is about her three favorite American novels: “Babbitt,” Mark Twain’s “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,” and Carson McCullers’s “The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter.” “Babbitt” is the only one I hadn’t read. (Continue reading here)

Booklist Review

(June 2014)

Azar Nafisi first reinvigorated our understanding of why fiction matters in the surprise best-seller… (Continue reading here)

Parnassus Musings, “A laid back lit journal”: Mention of The Republic of Imagination

(June 2014)

I was a huge fan of her book Reading Lolita in Tehran: a Memoir in Books, which turns the importance of reading into a life and death matter. It also helps if you’ve read the books she’s talking about, and there were so many of them — Lolita, of course, and Daisy MillerThe Great Gatsby1984The Handmaid’s Tale, the list goes on. (Continue reading here)

Publishers Weekly: “A Love Letter to Literature: Azar Nafisi”

(May 2014)

Readers who were inspired by Azar Nafisi’s paean to literature in Reading Lolita in Tehran—there were enough to keep the book on the New York Times bestseller list for 117 weeks—can rejoice at the appearance of The Republic of Imagination (Viking, Oct.), an homage to American literature and a reflection of what it means to become an American. (Continue reading here)

Library Journal: Fall 2014 Books to Watch

(April 2014)

As she explained in her No. 1 New York Times best-selling Reading Lolita in Tehran, Nafisi worked behind closed doors in a severely repressed theocratic Iran to teach a handful of committed women students the joys of great literature, creating for them a “republic of imagination.” (Continue reading here)

Azar Nafisi Introduces Malala Yousafzai as Recipient of the 2013 Ambassador of Conscience Award

Watch the video here!

Cultural Conversations presents a Symposium on the Future of the Humanities

Azar Nafisi’s Cultural Conversations program and the Council of Independent Colleges held an all-day symposium on the “Future of the Humanities” on Tuesday, March 29. To listen to audio from the symposium visit School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS).

A Defender of the Liberal Arts Contemplates Their Changing Role

Azar Nafisi

Writer Azar Nafisi is working on a book that defends the liberal arts.

By David Glenn, Santa Fe, N.M. in The Chronicle of Higher Education

For more than five years, Azar Nafisi has been working sporadically on a book called “The Republic of the Imagination,” which she describes as a treatise in defense of the liberal arts. The book, which isn’t expected until at least 2012, will explore some of the ideas about culture and democracy that were implicit in her best-selling 2003 memoir, Reading Lolita in Tehran. Read full article on Chronicle.com (Subscription Required) » » »

Guardian.co.uk: Liberty Central

Fighting for Women’s Rights in Iran
Published on October 8, 2009

How the One Million Signatures campaign, winner of this year’s Raw in War Anna Politkovskaya award, aims to change Iranian society.

Memoirs from Iranian author

Published on Jan 13, 2009

Author of “Reading Lolita in Tehran” opens up about her new book and the new Obama administration.

Generation Tehran

Published on Sep 18, 2008
Generation Tehran is a documentary short that will change your mind about Iran, its people, and its future. As one of the youngest populatio…all » Generation Tehran is a documentary short that will change your mind about Iran, its people, and its future. As one of the youngest populations in the world (70% are under 30), Iran’s youth are helping to build a new country. The foundations they lay will not only affect the Middle East, but also extend out to the whole world.

BBC Newsnight Report on Womens’ Day in Iran

Includes interviews with Iranian women Azar Nafisi interviewed from Washington, Frances Harrison reporting from Tehran
Published on March 8, 2007

New Yorker Festival Video Footage Online

Islam and the West
Published on October 10, 2006
The second annual New Yorker Town Hall Meeting, with Omar Ahmad, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Mahmood Mamdani, Azar Nafisi, Abdullahi Ahmed An-Na?im, and Lawrence Wright. George Packer, moderator.

BBC World Service’s The World Today programme

Moving stories: Azar Nafisi
Published on Friday, January 2, 2004

BBC World Service’s The World Today programme is asking migrants who have been successful in their adopted countries how they got to the top of their field.