The Chronicle: 7/13/2007: Banishing the Ghosts of Iran

Commenting on the arrest of Haleh Esfandiari in The Chronicle: 7/13/2007: Banishing the Ghosts of Iran, Fatemeh Keshvarz says “We all wish Esfandiari to be freed, but the danger is that we will color all of Iran…” and goes on to harangue Azar Nafisi for not mentioning enough contemporary Iranian women writers in her story of the travails of an occidophilic women’s reading group in post-revolutionary Tehran. As if the readers of ‘Reading Lolita ..’ will not see the protagonist as well as her oppressors as the ends of a spectrum which includes many other categories in between. Perhaps ‘Reading Lolita..’ is a bit two dimensional (but it certainly allows for more than one!) but is concern about this issue is the most appropriate response to the arrest? Don’t get me wrong. I am interested in trying to see and understand a broader range of Iranian experience, but the context of this complaint is really rather dissonant.

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