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Lunch with Azar Nafisi: Iran, America and the Radical Power of Literature



Iranian-American writer and memoirist Azar Nafisi has built a career around her passion for interpreting literature from alternative and often forbidden perspectives. She is dedicated to the idea that narrative can be a liberating, transformative and subversive political and social force.

A decade ago, Reading Lolita in Tehran, ran to the heights of bestseller lists worldwide and was published in 32 languages. Her latest, The Republic of Imagination: America in Three Books, offers an emphatic argument for literature’s place in democratic societies.

In a rare opportunity, join the Wheeler Centre’s director Michael Williams for lunch and meet the woman who taught proscribed Western classics in secret, dodging state censors and arbitrary raids. Learn Nafisi’s thoughts on the economic and political dangers of living in a society that lacks vision, the necessity of imagination and the importance of the humanities in times of crisis.



Azar Nafisi

Azar Nafisi is currently the director of Cultural Conversations at the Foreign Policy Institute of Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, DC, where she is a professor of aesthetics, culture and literature, and teaches courses on the relation between cult... Read more



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