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Posted January 11, 2010
An original approach
Although this was not as analytical and disciplined as "Reading Lolita.." I found it a very engaging and enlightening counterpoint. The choice to reveal so many details of the family dynamics and the history of the parents (now that both parents are apparently gone) was very positive. It turns out that Nafisi's life (with her moving back and forth between Iran, England, and the US in a very fraught time for her country of origin) was more contradictory, exciting, and challenging than most of the plots of the great novels Nafisi loves to think about (the great writers would have to have kept things more structured!). The book moves along almost on 2 separate planes: what is happening in her personal life or in that of relatives and then what is happening politically in Iran. Although she claims NOT to want to outline the history of Iran or this period -- nor the politics, the book, in fact, provides selected and useful information along with remarkable insight into this extremely complicated country. I felt comprehension, wonder, anguish, and fear at what it all means for our global future.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
As to the choice of such honesty in relating family, for me this was a very welcome contrast to what I see as the American tendency to sanitize matters and seek the sentimental "reconciliation", create a family picture that is nicer than the reality (unless of course the members are still locked in full-blown animosity.) Applying the same maxim she uses in literary criticism - that good novels represent what is true, even if profane - her message seems to be that we, too, can survive honesty in confronting our own family histories. And in the process learn from history, avoid repeating so many mistakes.
Posted March 25, 2009
Fast read, gives insight to Middle East issues
Another engrossing read from Nafisi, didn't want to put it down. More self-indulgent (analyzing family issues) than prior books, so not as hard-hitting and eye-opening on Iranian issues, but still a great book.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.