Author Azar Nafisi on How Writers Become Witness to the Truth and the Power That Can Wield

Nafisi was inspired to write “Reading Lolita in Tehran” because she noticed the ignorance regarding the lives of people in Iran, reducing the country to its regime.

On Saturday, April 24, The Chelsea District Library will host the 11th annual Midwest Literary Walk. Typically set in downtown Chelsea, the “walk” will be held virtually this year to comply with COVID-19 protocols.

The event will feature three esteemed writers for a series of talks and interviews. New York Times bestselling author Azar Nafisi is among those featured. Her conversation with the Midwest Literary Walk will take place virtually at 4 p.m. To register for the event or get more information, visit

Listen: Author Azar Nafisi on the power of connection through imagination.

Courtesy of the author
Courtesy of the author


Azar Nafisi is a critically acclaimed author, best known for her long-running No. 1 New York Times bestseller “Reading Lolita in Tehran.” She says authors have the power to enlighten and spur action and change. “A writer becomes a witness to truth … it would be a betrayal of the self to not write what one witnesses. The truth as we know is very dangerous. Once you know something, you have to do something about it. Action comes after knowledge,” says Nafisi of her work challenging the status quo in Iran.

She says she was even more inspired to write her book about Iran because she noticed how ignorant Americans were to the lives of people in Iran, reducing the whole country to its regime. She adds that through imagination comes freedom and she hoped to bond the people of Iran and America, and the world more broadly, through ideas in this book rather than through contentious politics. “There is a space where we can connect no matter where we come from or who we are,” says Nafisi on the message she wanted to bring from Iran to her new home of America.

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