Wednesday, February 24, 2021
Azar Nafisi of ‘Reading Lolita’ Fame to Discuss Social Change in America and Iran
Thursday, February 4, 2021


The author of “Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books” will discuss her work, social change in America and Iran and the role women and literature play during a virtual discussion at 7 tonight—Thursday, Feb. 4.

Azar Nafisi, a New York Times bestselling author, will be joined by Martha Williams, programs and education manager at The Community Library, and Kristin Poole, artistic director of Sun Valley Museum of Art.

The conversation is part of The Museum’s current BIG IDEA project “Deeds Not Words: Women Working for Change” and the library’s communitywide Winter Read, which just started this week and is focusing this year on the legacy of slavery in America and intergenerational effects of racism and oppression.

“Reading Lolita in Tehran” presented a compassionate and often harrowing portrait of the Islamic revolution in Iran, showing how it affected a university professor and her students.

Nafisi has conducted workshops in Iran for female students on the relationship between culture and human rights with the material from those workshops forming the basis for a human rights education curriculum. She has lectured extensively on the role Iranian women and girls play in pushing for pluralism and an open society in their country.

“Azar Nafisi’s work helps us to understand the transformative role of literature in our everyday lives,” says Williams. “She has shown us, during her time in both Iran and the U.S., how those a government or nation seeks to keep invisible have the power—through story—to imagine new realities, to speak truth, and to gain power over the trauma of voicelessness. Hers is a voice we can rely on to better understand our world, our democracy and ourselves through literature.”

The event is free, thanks to Jane P. Watkins and Marcia and Don Liebich. But participants must register in advance at



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