Azar Nafisi, professor at Johns Hopkins University and author of "Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books."

Bestseller about Iran

Author of 'Reading Lolita in Tehran' to lecture, sign books

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4:31 p.m., Nov. 1, 2011--Azar Nafisi, a professor at Johns Hopkins University and the author of the international bestseller Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books, will present a free, public lecture and do a book signing at the University of Delaware on Tuesday, Nov. 15, as part of UD’s International Education Week celebration. 

The book signing will be held at the UD Bookstore, starting at 5:40 p.m. The lecture will begin at 7 p.m. in Mitchell Hall. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m., and a question-and-answer session with Nafisi will be held after the lecture.

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Published in 2003, Reading Lolita in Tehran spent over 117 weeks on The New York Times bestseller list. An incisive exploration of the transformative power of fiction in a world of tyranny, the book has electrified readers with a compassionate and often harrowing portrait of the Islamic revolution in Iran and how it affected one university professor and her students.

The book has been translated into 32 languages and has won numerous literary awards. In 2009, it was named one of the “100 Best Books of the Decade” by The Times (London).

Nafisi, who earned her doctorate in English literature in the U.S., was expelled from teaching at the University of Tehran in 1981 for refusing to wear the mandatory Islamic veil and did not resume teaching until 1987. She taught at the Free Islamic University and Allameh Tabatabai, and then held a fellowship at Oxford University, teaching and conducting a series of lectures on the important role of Western literature and culture in Iran after the revolution in 1979.

Upon her return to the U.S. in 1997, Nafisi earned international recognition for advocating on behalf of Iran’s intellectuals, youth and especially young women. In 2011, she was awarded the Cristóbal Gabarrón Foundation International Thought and Humanities Award for her “determined and courageous defense of human values in Iran and her efforts to create awareness through literature about the situation women face in Islamic society.”

Currently, Nafisi is a visiting professor and the director of Cultural Conversations at the Foreign Policy Institute of Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, D.C., where she teaches courses on the relationship between culture and politics.

The lecture is sponsored by the Division of Student Life, English Language Institute, Institute for Global Studies, Office for International Student and Scholars, Office of Residence Life, Student Centers, Diversity and Equity Commission Caucuses, Multicultural Student Organization. It is supported by the Student Centers Program Advisory Board (SCPAB), the Student Government Association (SGA) and the Honors Program.

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