Après avoir démissionné de l'Université de Téhéran sous la pression des autorités iraniennes, Azar Nafisi a réuni pendant deux ans, dans l'intimité de son salon, sept étudiantes pour y lire Nabokov, Fitzgerald, Austen... Ce livre magnifique est le portrait brut et déchirant de la révolution islamique en Iran. La démonstration magistrale que l'imagination bâtit la liberté.
" Un livre captivant. Il explore avec ferveur et conviction le pacte tacite existant entre l'écrivain, le livre et le lecteur. Tous les lecteurs devraient lire ce livre. "
Traduit de l'anglais
par Marie-Hélène Dumas
Cet essai très personnel part du principe que la fiction est en danger dans l'Amérique d'aujourd'hui, dans un monde ou les tweets et YouTube accaparent l'individu au détriment de son imaginaire. L'auteur associe ses souvenirs de lectures des grandes oeuvres américaines à son itinéraire d'exilée qui, ayant dû quitter l'Iran, a choisi de devenir citoyenne des États-Unis, pays qu'elle a découvert grâce à ses romans.
En relisant avec elle Huckleberry Finn ou Le coeur est un chasseur solitaire, le lecteur est amené à porter un regard neuf sur les oeuvres fondatrices des États-Unis. Très inspirée par l'écrivain James Baldwin, elle nous engage à lire partout, en toutes circonstances, à la rejoindre dans cette République de l'imagination, pays sans frontières ni restrictions, ou le seul passeport requis est un esprit libre et un désir de rêver. « La littérature est délicieusement subversive, dit-elle, car elle enflamme l'imagination et défie le statu quo. »
Marjane Satrapi dit à propos de ce livre : « Nous sommes tous citoyens de la République de l'imagination d'Azar Nafisi. Sans imagination, il n'y a pas de rêves. Sans rêves il n'y a pas d'art. Sans art, il n'y a rien. Ses mots sont essentiels. »
Traduit de l'anglais par Marie-Hélène Dumas
Azar Nafisi croit à la fonction subversive de la littérature. Elle tisse son histoire personnelle à travers celle de sa patrie, l'Iran. Conflits, espoirs, souvenirs : un témoignage à la beauté mélancolique.
Briser le silence. De l'ascension politique de son père en Iran à la trahison, de l'idéal révolutionnaire à la désillusion totalitaire, Azar Nafisi raconte. Entre secrets de famille et secrets d'Etat, il n'y a qu'un pas, que l'auteur de Lire Lolita à Téhéran franchit pour réaffirmer sa foi en sa patrie de coeur, celle de l'imagination. Un témoignage à la beauté mélancolique.
" Une méditation sur le silence, le temps et l'émergence traîtresse de la mémoire. "
Lila Azam Zanganeh, Le Monde
Traduit de l'anglais
par Marie-Hélène Dumas
Préface de Jean-Claude Carrière
Azar Nafisi, author of the international bestseller Reading Lolita in Tehran, now gives us a stunning personal story of growing up in Iran, memories of her life lived in thrall to a powerful and complex mother, against the background of a country's political revolution.A girl's pain over family secrets; a young woman's discovery of the power of sensuality in literature; the price a family pays for freedom in a country beset by political upheaval - these and other threads are woven together in this beautiful memoir.Nafisi's intelligent and complicated mother, disappointed in her dreams of leading an important and romantic life, created mesmerising fictions about herself, her family, and her past.But her daughter soon learned that these narratives of triumph hid as much as they revealed.Nafisi's father escaped into narratives of another kind, enchanting his children with classic tales like the Shahnameh, the Persian Book of Kings.When her father began to see other women, young Azar began to keep his secrets from her mother.Nafisi's complicity in these childhood dramas ultimately led her to resist remaining silent about other personal - as well as political, cultural, and social - injustices.Reaching back in time to reflect on other generations in the Nafisi family, Things I've Been Silent About is also a powerful historical portrait of a family that spans the many periods of change leading up to the Islamic Revolution of 1978-79.It is, finally, a deeply personal reflection on women's choices, and how Azar Nafisi found the inspiration for a different kind of life.This unforgettable portrait of a woman, a family, and a troubled homeland is a stunning book that readers will embrace, a new triumph from an author who is a modern master of the memoir.
We all have dreams--things we fantasize about doing and generally never get around to. This is the story of Azar Nafisi's dream and of the nightmare that made it come true.
For two years before she left Iran in 1997, Nafisi gathered seven young women at her house every Thursday morning to read and discuss forbidden works of Western literature. They were all former students whom she had taught at university. Some came from conservative and religious families, others were progressive and secular; several had spent time in jail. They were shy and uncomfortable at first, unaccustomed to being asked to speak their minds, but soon they began to open up and to speak more freely, not only about the novels they were reading but also about themselves, their dreams and disappointments. Their stories intertwined with those they were reading--Pride and Prejudice, Washington Square, Daisy Miller and Lolita--their Lolita, as they imagined her in Tehran.
Nafisi's account flashes back to the early days of the revolution, when she first started teaching at the University of Tehran amid the swirl of protests and demonstrations. In those frenetic days, the students took control of the university, expelled faculty members and purged the curriculum. When a radical Islamist in Nafisi's class questioned her decision to teach The Great Gatsby, which he saw as an immoral work that preached falsehoods of "the Great Satan," she decided to let him put Gatsby on trial and stood as the sole witness for the defense.
Azar Nafisi's luminous tale offers a fascinating portrait of the Iran-Iraq war viewed from Tehran and gives us a rare glimpse, from the inside, of women's lives in revolutionary Iran. It is a work of great passion and poetic beauty, written with a startlingly original voice.
From the Hardcover edition.
From the author of the bestselling memoir Reading Lolita in Tehran comes a powerful and passionate case for the vital role of fiction today.
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 follow-up, 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. Taking her cue from a challenge thrown to her at a reading, she energetically responds to those who say fiction has nothing to teach us today. Blending memoir and polemic with close readings of her favourite novels, 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.
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.