Penguin Classics

Because what you read matters.

The Republic of Imagination

Azar Nafisi

The Republic of Imagination Book Cover

The author of the beloved #1 New York Times bestseller Reading Lolita in Tehran returns with the next chapter of her life in books—a passionate and deeply moving hymn to America.
 
Ten years ago, Azar Nafisi electrified readers with her multimillion-copy bestseller Reading Lolita in Tehran, which told the story of how, against the backdrop of morality squads and executions, she taught The Great Gatsby and other classics of English and American literature to her eager students in Iran. In this electrifying follow-up, she argues that fiction is just as threatened—and just as invaluable—in America today.

 Blending memoir and polemic with close readings of her favorite novels, she describes the unexpected journey that led her to become an American citizen after first dreaming of America as a young girl in Tehran and coming to know the country through its fiction. She urges us to rediscover the America of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and challenges us to be truer to the words and spirit of the Founding Fathers, who understood that their democratic experiment would never thrive or survive unless they could foster a democratic imagination. Nafisi invites committed readers everywhere to join her as citizens of what she calls the Republic of Imagination, a country with no borders and few restrictions, where the only passport to entry is a free mind and a willingness to dream.

Join the conversation with Azar on Twitter: @azarnafisi

James Joyce
Illustrator: Roman Muradov
Mark Twain
Charles Dudley Warner
Frances Ellen Watkins Harper
Gustave Flaubert
Illustrator: Jessica Hische
Herman Melville
Illustrator: Jessica Hische
Oscar Wilde
Illustrator: Ruben Toledo
Jane Austen
Illustrator: Ruben Toledo
L. Frank Baum
Illustrator: Rachell Sumpter


The Classics Map
World Of Penguin Classics Map

Explore the world of Penguin Classics!

Sign Up
Classics on Twitter
Classics on Facebook
Classics on Air
Penguin Classics on Air

"Penguin Classics on Air," a half-hour series devoted to the discussion and exploration of some of Penguin Classics' 1,500-plus titles.