In The Republic of Imagination, Nafisi is bold about asking and tackling some tough questions. Are the humanities important to us? If so, is that being reflected in our lives? In our education system? How does freedom affect how much (or little) we value the arts? As a musician, music teacher, avid reader, and actually, as a homeschooling mom as well, I found it pretty easy to connect with Nafisi’s thoughts on these questions and more.
Nafisi is passionate about the importance of the humanities in our lives . . . honestly, it radiates from the pages. Her enthusiasm is contagious. I felt inspired to re-read Huck Finn and Babbit. I realized I had to put McCullers and Baldwin on my TBR list. I took a ridiculous amount of notes, and reflected deeply about my own educational philosophy: How am I sharing my own enthusiasm with my music students? With my daughter? Nafisi’s views on the way education is directly linked with living a rich, meaningful life is refreshing and so encouraging. I came away from her book feeling empowered and hopeful.
Azar Nafisi’s The Republic of Imagination needs to be read. Its blend of memoir and literary/social criticism, combined with Nafisi’s zeal, make for a vibrant, uplifting read. Readers are left feeling they can do something because we have the freedom — and should act upon that freedom — to share with others our thoughts and feelings about the books we read, the art we see, the music we hear, and more.