“Are you listening?” he said, bringing his quizzical eyes closer to my face. “Where have you wandered off to?”

“Oh, I’m here all right,” I said. “I was just thinking.”

“Right,” he said, remembering his British training.

“Really, I was listening,” I said. “You’ve just clarified something for me, something I’d been thinking of a lot lately.” He waited for me to continue. “I was thinking about life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, about the fact that my girls are not happy. What I mean is that they feel doomed to be unhappy.”

“And how do you propose to go about making them understand that it is their right?” he asked. “Surely not by encouraging them to act like victims. They have to learn to fight for their happiness.”

Reading Lolita in Tehran, Azar Nafisi

Inalienable Fights


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