[caption id="attachment_28638" align="aligncenter" width="500"]<img class="size-full wp-image-28638" src="https:\/\/mountainmedianews.com\/wp-content\/uploads\/sites\/13\/2017\/07\/Azar-Nafisi-Photo-by-Stanley-Staniski.jpg" alt="" width="500" height="334" \/> (Photo by Stanley Staniski, courtesy Lewisburg Literary Festival)<br \/>Azar Nafisi[\/caption]\r\n<h1>The 2017 Lewisburg Literary Festival will feature Azar Nafisi, an enthusiastic crusader for books and literature, as the festival\u2019s main speaker on Saturday, Aug. 5, at 7 p.m. at Carnegie Hall.<\/h1>\r\nNafisi writes nonfiction about fiction. She is best known for her memoir, \u201cReading Lolita in Tehran,\u201d which remained on the <em>New York Times<\/em> Bestseller List for 117 weeks and has been translated into 32 languages. In the book she details her courageous efforts to teach forbidden Western classics during the Iranian Revolution. She was expelled from the faculty of the University of Tehran for refusing to wear the mandatory veil.\r\n\r\nA resident of Washington, DC, and an American citizen since 2008, Nafisi has lectured at Oxford University and written for the <em>New York Times<\/em>, the <em>Washington Post<\/em>, and the <em>Wall Street Journal<\/em>. She is currently a Fellow at Johns Hopkins University\u2019s Foreign Policy Institute. She is the recipient of numerous literary and humanitarian awards, and five honorary doctorates.\r\n\r\nLocal writer Greg Johnson, program chair for the festival, notes, \u201cDr. Nafisi is a true world citizen and a passionate voice for the lasting value of books and literature. We\u2019re thrilled to bring her to the Greenbrier Valley. She\u2019s a departure from the speakers we\u2019ve featured in the past, but as an Iranian American immigrant, and a believer of the power of literature in the world, we thought she might have some interesting observations to offer on any number of current topics.\u201d\r\n\r\nNafisi\u2019s most recent book is entitled \u201cThe Republic of Imagination: America in Three Books.\u201d Using \u201cThe Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,\u201d \u201cBabbit\u201d and \u201cThe Heart is a Lonely Hunter,\u201d she explores American cultures and values.\r\n\r\nLaura Miller of Salon wrote that \u201cNo one writes better or more stirringly about the way books shape a reader\u2019s identity, and about the way that talking about books with good friends becomes integral to how we understand the books, our friends and ourselves than Azar Nafisi.\u201d\r\n\r\nNow in its sixth year, the Lewisburg Literary Festival is a two-day celebration of books, writers and the arts, focusing on promoting reading and literacy. All events are underwritten by local sponsors. This year\u2019s festival will take place on Aug. 4 and 5.\r\n\r\nThis event is free and open to the public. Seating is limited. Tickets are available through the Greenbrier County CVB by phone at 888-716-5082 or in person at 905 Washington Street West in Lewisburg. For additional information about this and other events, visit lewisburgliteraryfestival.com.