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reading lolita in Tehran  

Azar Nafisi was expelled from her professorship at The University of Tehran for refusing to wear the veil. She battled her conscience on the decision: should she wear the veil and teach the literature so important to her students and their understanding of the world or should she stand her ground in protest of frightening discrimination of post-revolutionary Iran?

Her most rewarding decision came two years before Nafisi left Iran in 1997. She invited seven young women, her very best students, to her house to read and discuss forbidden works of Western literature. This private book sanctuary became a refuge of learning and sharing that extended beyond the texts and into the lives, hopes, dreams and fears of the students, especially in relation to the stories lived by the characters in such books as The Great Gatsby, Daisy Miller and Lolita—the Lolita they so understood from their vantage in Tehran.

This Other World  

Best known as the author of the novel Native Son, and later Black Boy, Richard Wright devoted the end of his life, in France, to the art of the haiku. Before he died in 1960, he had written four thousand of them. He selected 817 of them for publication, as This Other World: Projections in the Haiku Manner, though they would not appear in this form for more than three decades after his death. Read several selections from This Other World.

graham swift  

Graham Swift is renowned for his intimate, intricate storytelling, through which he transforms ordinary lives into something other.

The Light of Day is Swift's first novel since the Booker Prize-winning Last Orders. Like that book, The Light of Day showcases Swift's masterly writing. A luminous and compelling story about love, murder and redemption, the book unfolds over the course of a single day in the life of the protagonist, George Webb, a divorced private investigator.

A masterpiece portrait of the minutiae of daily existence, Swift explores the surfaces, depths and extremities of George's life to reveal what, perhaps, lies within us all. This powerful lesson of self-discovery lays bare the larger vision that lies at the heart of this intimate novel.

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