Date Sunday, March 29, 2015, 3 – 4 pm
Co-sponsor: This lecture is sponsored by the Foundation for Iranian Studies. A reception follows.
Venue: Venue Freer Gallery of Art at Smithsonian’s Museum of Asian Art
Event Location: Meyer Auditorium
This year’s Nowruz lecture is given by Azar Nafisi, the author of Reading Lolita in Tehran and Things I’ve Been Silent About. Nafisi discusses her latest work, The Republic of Imagination: America in Three Books. She describes the journey that led her to become an American citizen, building a new life in a country she first came to know through its works of fiction.
After a skeptical reader in Seattle told her that Americans don’t care about books the way people do in Iran, Nafisi energetically responds in her book to those who say fiction has nothing to teach us. Blending memoir and polemic with close readings of her favorite American novels—The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Babbitt, and The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter, among others—she invites readers to join her “Republic of Imagination,” where conformity and orthodoxy are villains and the only passport to entry is a willingness to dream.
Azar Nafisi is the critically acclaimed author of Reading Lolita in Tehran, a long-running New York Times bestseller published in thirty-two languages, and Things I’ve Been Silent About, also a Times bestseller. A fellow at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies, she has taught at Oxford University and several universities in Tehran