Read Dangerously: The Subversive Power of Literature in Troubled Times

Azar Nafisi
In Conversation With Jeffrey Brown
Tuesday, March 8, 2022
Episode Summary

The New York Times bestselling author of Reading Lolita in Tehran returns with a guide for our times, arming readers with a resistance reading list, including selections from James Baldwin to Zora Neale Hurston to Margaret Atwood. How can literature, through its free exchange, affect politics? Drawing on her experiences—from living in the Islamic Republic of Iran to immigrating to the United States—Nafisi seeks to answer this in her galvanizing guide to literature as resistance. Structured as a series of letters to her father, Nafisi explores the most probing questions of our time through the works of Toni Morrison, Salman Rushdie, James Baldwin, Margaret Atwood, and more. Read Dangerously crafts an argument for why, in a genuine democracy, we must engage with the enemy and how literature can be a vehicle for doing so.

Participant(s) Bio

Azar Nafisi is the author of the multi-award-winning New York Times bestseller Reading Lolita in Tehran, as well as Things I’ve Been Silent About, The Republic of Imagination, and That Other World. Formerly a Fellow at Johns Hopkins University’s Foreign Policy Institute, she has taught at Oxford and several universities in Tehran. She lives in Washington, D.C.

Jeffrey Brown is the author of The News and Peabody Award-winning Senior Correspondent and Chief Arts Correspondent for PBS NewsHour, public television’s prestigious nightly news program viewed by millions. In a career spanning more than thirty years at the NewsHour, Brown has interviewed numerous leading American, and international newsmakers, moderated studio discussions on a vast array of topics and reported from across the United States and other regions of the globe. In addition, he leads the NewsHour’s extensive coverage of arts and culture “Canvas,” hosts the monthly book club, “Now Read This,” a collaboration with The New York Times, and regularly speaks at conferences and forums. Jeffrey Brown is married to Paula Crawford, an artist, author, and professor at George Mason University. They have two children.