, author of the best-selling Reading Lolita in Tehran
, will be at Left Bank Books
in the Central West End on Thursday, March 18, at 7 p.m. to talk about her latest book Things I've Been Silent About: Memories of a Prodigal Daughter
, which just came out in paperback.Things I've Been Silent About
is Nafisi's memoir of growing up in Iran before the Islamic Revolution. Her existence was a privileged one: her father was mayor of Tehran and her mother served a term in Parliament. But after Ayatollah Khomeini came to power, Nafisi's father was jailed and her mother presided over clandestine "coffee hours" where men and women met to discuss the political upheavals that transformed their country.
Nafisi herself was expelled from the University of Tehran for refusing to wear the veil, which the Islamic government had imposed upon all Iranian women. She eventually became a professor of Western literature, taught at Oxford and left Iran for good in 1997. (Reading Lolita in Tehran
is her memoir of secretly teaching forbidden Western literature to a small group of students in defiance of the government.) Currently, she is a professor and the director of Cultural Conversations
at the Foreign Policy Institute of Johns Hopkins University.
"In our current political climate, it's easy to
see Iran and other places as a completely different world from our own," writes Danielle Borsch, Left Bank's events coordinator, in an e-mail. "But as
Azar Nafisi has always shown in her writing, there are elements -- like books,
like life -- that are experiences shared across borders.
"In Things I've Been
Silent About, she shows how she learned to be silent, a lesson that many of
us learn at some point, and one that has much bigger consequences, making it
more difficult to stand up against injustices: personally, culturally, and
politically. So, come out and join us not being silent."