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The Republic of Imagination: A Life in Books

 
 
Author
Azar Nafisi. Peter Sís, illus.
Publisher Penguin  
Format paperback
Product Dimensions 7.7 x 5.1 x 0.6 inches
ISBN 9780143127789
Pages/Publication Date 338/2015
Daedalus Item Code 59846
This item is not available.
Description
Ten years ago Azar Nafisi electrified readers with Reading Lolita in Tehran, telling how, against the backdrop of morality squads and executions, she taught The Great Gatsby and other classics of English and American literature to her eager students in Iran. She remains a passionate advocate of books and reading, and here argues that fiction is just as threatened in America now—and just as invaluable. Blending memoir and polemic with close readings of her favorite novels, she describes the unexpected journey that led her to become an American citizen after first dreaming of America as a young girl in Tehran and coming to know the country through its fiction. In this book, with occasional ink drawings from Hans Christian Andersen Award winner Peter Sís, she urges us to rediscover the America of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, and challenges us to be truer to the words and spirit of the Founding Fathers, who understood that their democratic experiment would never thrive or survive unless they could foster a democratic imagination. "In works by Mark Twain, Sinclair Lewis, and Carson McCullers, Nafisi finds the essence of the American experience, filtered through narratives not about exceptionalism or fabulous success, but alienation, solitude, and landscape," wrote Jane Smiley in the Washington Post. "Her argument is compelling, but more than that, her pleasure in these works is contagious.... Will Americans be as willing to take to heart a book that puts us on the spot and asks of us the same serious questions that Nafisi asked of the regime in Tehran? We are more spread out than Iranians, more thoughtless, more susceptible to the marketing of ignorance, perhaps—especially in an election season. But read it. It will do you good."
 
 
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