Feminist Book Club: “Reading Lolita in Tehran”

Still working through some teething pains with the logistics of this book club, but it’s worth it. Today the feminist book club met up to discuss Reading Lolita in Tehran: A memoir in books by Azar Nafisi.

It was a great but very spiralling conversation so lets see what I remember:

1. Only 1 person who attended had finished the book! The others who had weren’t able to make the date/time.

2. How current the book felt with regards to the rise of totalitarianism, oppressive state policies, and what Azar Nafisi must be thinking about current events happening in America and around the world.

3. The original Lolita as being a discomforting, uncomfortable read because of its readability

4. The fetishized image of the “woman underneath the veil”, which rendered the reading of such a trope in the book …. icky (if a little unfairly so)

5. The last books that made us cry

6. Audiobooks and autobiographies on audio

7. Kiasu-ness, work-life balance

8. Female friendships and relationships as toxic, competitive, supportive, ally-ships, in the workplace and outside of it – calling back to Roxanne Gay’s Bad Feminist

9. How to get books on Kindle, circumnavigating the vetting desk at the Brunei Post Office.

10. Bridget Jones, her real-life counterparts, her Singaporean literary counterpart Annabelle Thong, and how its amazing that a Malay Muslim man was able to bring life to such a character.

That’s all I remember for now – but I remember being thankful to know so many intelligent, passionate, incisive, good women – thankful and a little in awe.

Next book is Sofia Khan is Not Obliged – just in time for the sequel to come out!

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