Azar Nafisi
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"Azar Nafisi" is an Iranian writer and professor of English literature. She has resided in the United States since 1997 and became an American citizen in 2008.

Nafisi has been a visiting fellow and lecturer at the Foreign Policy Institute of Johns Hopkins University’s Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies/School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) and served on the Board of Trustees of Freedom House. She is the niece of famous Iranian scholar, fiction writer and poet Saeed Nafisi. Azar Nafisi is best known for her 2003 book Reading Lolita in Tehran/Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books, which remained on the New York Times Bestseller list for 117 weeks, and has won several literary awards, including the 2004 Non-fiction Book of the Year Award from Booksense.

Since Reading Lolita in Tehran, Nafisi has written Things I've Been Silent About: Memories of a Prodigal Daughter and The Republic of Imagination: America in Three Books.

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Iranian fiction has entered a new era...The Islamic Revolution has shaken all values and norms within society. Now, the images of women have to be rethought and redefined. Under extreme pressure, women must look at themselves not only as members of their society or their country but as individuals whose very private lives and liberties are being redefined.

First of all, there are aspects of culture which are really reprehensible, and we should [all] fight against it. We shouldn't accept them. Second of all, women in Iran and in Saudi Arabia don't like to be stoned to death.

Unfortunately for governments like that of Iran, when they forbid something, people become more interested.

Many times I tell my American students my Iranian students understood how valuable [freedom] is because they had been deprived of it. Sometimes in the West we need to be reminded of the fact that blood has been paid for what we have.

Lots of times you can feel as an exile in a country that you were born in.

You need imagination in order to imagine a future that doesn't exist.

I would like to think of my own status as what you called 'citizen of the world' or a 'citizen of a portable world,' if not of the world.