Saturday, September 3, 2011

Books: Prisoner in Tehran, A Memoir

Prisoner in Tehran: A Memoir by Marina Nemat

I read Reading Lolita in Tehran a few years ago, so this topic intrigued me. While Reading Lolita is told from a professor's point of view during the enforcement of a fundamental Islamic government, Prisoner in Tehran is told by a student. Marina Nemat was a Catholic high school girl who was mildly interested in politcal change. She was motivated by watching her close friends, yet held back by the belief that the protestors' chosen governmental systems would not work either.
The book is the story of her arrest, torture, imprisonment, and oddly appointed freedom, yet the book bounces back and forth between her personal story, her family's history, and the political mess of the country. There is a great balance memoir and history.

Another great perspective is that of her religion. As a Catholic (with non-practicing parents), Marina is forced to confront her own religious beliefs against the backdrop of her Muslim tormentors as well as co-prisoners. Nemat does a great job at describing the personal agony of disovering gray areas in her faith along with contemplating the matter of saying something versus really meaning it. There are a lot of great lessons in the book, and Nemat tells it well.

1 comment:

  1. Meghan, you cared for our daughter Anna via CGPA before your move to Mexico. Totally random but I see that you're back in Portland-- and we need someone to care for her during the day of 9/6! Would you email me at