This book was enjoyable, although it was not what I was originally expecting. While the book is admittedly a memoir of Nafisi, an author and English Professor who returned to teach at The University of Tehran during the Iranian Revolution, I was hoping that she would focus more on the “forbidden” book club she started with her select students.
Still I found myself drawn into Nafisi’s work as she does look at an interesting time in Iran’s history from unique perspective. How does a female professor of Classical English literature find a place in Post-Revolutionary Iran? Nafisi has faced a great amount of criticism for misrepresenting Iranian society, but I personally feel as though it’s unwarranted. While there may be some truth to the idea that this book has become so popular in the United States because Nafisi appears critical of Islamic Fundamentalism, she is simply writing her memoirs from her personal experiences. Considering herself belonging to both “East” and “West,” Nafisi’s crisis of identity and belonging is a reoccurring theme in her memoirs.
Nafisi writes with the eloquence that would be expected from a Professor of English Literature, and references a number of seminal works in her writing. While I would have loved more focus to be put on the meetings Nafisi held in her home, I still enjoyed the read and the unique look at Post-Revolutionary Iran that this memoir provides.