republic of imagination book coverI have 2 copies of The Republic of Imagination: A Life in Books by Azar Nafisi to give away! 

Open to US residents only

About the book

Azar Nafisi, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Reading Lolita in Tehran, argues for the power of fiction to transform lives right here in America in The Republic of Imagination: A Life in Books, available for the first time in paperback. 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 American literature to her sometimes skeptical students in Iran. In this exhilarating follow-up, she has written the book her fans have been waiting for: an impassioned 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.

In 2008, Nafisi became an American citizen. But long before she took her oath of allegiance, and perhaps even more intensely thereafter, questions about the United States filled her mind: What does it mean to be American? Why are the values of American art, music, and literature so evidently at odds with the nation’s politics? Is America founded as much on heartbreak as on hope? Why, in the midst of cultural wealth and hundreds of millions of countrymen, do so many Americans lead lonely lives?

Blending memoir and polemic with close readings of four of her favorite novels—Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Sinclair Lewis’s Babbitt, Carson McCullers’s The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter and James Baldwin’s Another Country—Azar seeks answers to these questions and urges us to reject the ideological rigidity poisoning our political discourse in favor of a more generous view of citizenship. She describes how she first discovered America and its fictional landscape as a young girl in Tehran and reminds us of the crucial role that literature played in the lives of the founding fathers. Through the lens of these great novels, Nafisi tackles everything from the crisis in the humanities to the violence in our schools and offers a devastating critique of the new Common Core curriculum and its underlying assumptions about the purpose of education.

Reflecting on her own journey to becoming an American citizen, Nafisi invites us to join her as citizens of the “Republic of Imagination,” a country that has no borders and few restrictions, where the real villain is conformity and the only passport to entry are a free mind and a willingness to dream.

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