Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books is by Azar Nafisi, who worked as a professor and writer in Tehran. Here are a few images that I found online that I feel really set the scene for the book:
The books is set in Tehran, and is broken up into 4 section: Lolita, Gatsby, James, and Austen, if that gives you some idea of the literature covered in the book. (You may have noticed I did another Read Review of Lolita some time back, I decided to read Lolita before Reading Lolita in Tehran, and I'm glad I did, though it is by no means required.) I really enjoyed Reading Lolita In Tehran because I didn't know a lot about Iranian history, or the fact that before the shah Iran was more liberal and open, it's only in recent years that it's become so oppressive. The book covers a lot of the current history of Tehran, like the siege of the US embassy, the bombings of Tehran, the political power struggles, etc, as well as personal history like girls being jailed or arrested on the side of the street for wearing nail polish or having a strand of hair sticking out from under their head scarf. It gives you an honest idea of what living there, as a girl, is like.
The book was also right up my alley because it's all focused around a book club and reading, which I'm sure you've figured out now, I love. The book was a bit difficult to get through at times, I found I could rarely read more than 25 pages in one sitting. I'm not sure if I was getting bored or found some of the topics a bit too intense. All in all I was glad I read the book.
If you've read this post and want to read the book for yourself just leave a comment and I'll send you my copy of the book! Make sure your comment has some sort of link to your email so I can contact you for an address. I'm moving to another continent in July and need to seriously start purging my library. Just for the record I bought the book used at a street sale so it's no where near "new" in condition, but isn't that part of what makes books great? Wondering about their previous owners.... Ok maybe that's just me.