Maoists in Oklahoma?!

What should you be more surprised by? That Azar Nafisi, the author of "Reading Lolita in Tehran", used to live in Norman or that Norman was an outpost of Maoism?

Ms Nafisi's own path is full of experimentation and missteps. Studying abroad, she joins a group of would-be Iranian Maoists in Norman, Oklahoma.

To see the irony of this, read the Wikipedia page on "Reading Lolita in Tehran" which gives space to one of her most prominent critics:

[Columbia Professor Hamid Dabashi critiqued]  Nafisi's memoir as evidenced in this quote: "By seeking to recycle a kaffeeklatsch version of English literature as the ideological foregrounding of American empire, Reading Lolita in Tehran is reminiscent of the most pestiferous colonial projects of the British in India, when for example, in 1835 a colonial officer like Thomas Macaulay decreed: 'We must do our best to form a class who may be interpreters between us and the millions whom we govern, a class of persons Indian in blood and color, but English in taste, in opinions, words and intellect.' Azar Nafisi is the personification of that native informer and colonial agent, polishing her services for an American version of the very same project."

From Maoist to colonial agent ... Norman, Oklahoma must have really agreed with her!

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