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The Republic of Imagination by Azar Nafisi

One of my favorite things in life... a book reveling in the gloriousness of books. And that's exactly what this was. By analyzing Huck Finn, Babbitt and The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, Nafisi was able to explain the passion and history of America and how literature always has and continues to act as the lifeblood of this nation. We hear so many Debbie Downer news stories about how Americans spend too much time watching tv or playing XBox and how the tradition of storytelling is dead and buried in a country of excess. However, Nafisi argues that point and explains her own love of this country and how that love is constantly intensified by our literary gifts.

And now Reading in Lolita in Tehran has earned a well-deserved place on my TBR list.


A passionate hymn to the power of fiction to change people’s lives, by the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Reading Lolita in Tehran Ten years ago, Azar Nafisi electrified readers with her million-copy bestseller, Reading Lolita in Tehran, which told the story of how, against the backdrop of morality squads and executions, she taught The Great Gatsby and other classics to her eager students in Iran. In this exhilarating followup, Nafisi has written the book her fans have been waiting for: an impassioned, beguiling, and utterly original tribute to the vital importance of fiction in a democratic society. What Reading Lolita in Tehran was for Iran, The Republic of Imagination is for America. Taking her cue from a challenge thrown to her in Seattle, where a skeptical reader told her that Americans don’t care about books the way they did back in Iran, she energetically responds 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 us to join her as citizens of her “Republic of Imagination,” a country where the villains are conformity and orthodoxy and the only passport to entry is a free mind and a willingness to dream.

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