Azar Nafisi is the best kind of teacher: resourceful, imaginative, and committed. While teaching English and American literature at the University of Tehran in the early years of the Islamic Republic, she found ways of using the likes of Nabokov and Henry James, Austen and Scott Fitzgerald to challenge her students into questioning the narrow ethics that were threatening to outlaw independent thought in Iran. Reading Lolita in Tehran, which Nafisi describes as a â€œmemoir in books,â€ is part biography, part literary criticism and part sociological study. Above all, however, it is a vital testament to the very purpose of fiction: to assault the rigidity of belief with the dynamism of imagination.
(Via The Elegant Variation.)