My Pen Is the Wing of a Bird: New Fiction by Afghan Women

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My Pen Is the Wing of a Bird: New Fiction by Afghan Women

My Pen Is the Wing of a Bird: New Fiction by Afghan Women

RRP: £99
Price: £9.9
£9.9 FREE Shipping

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My thanks to Grand Central Publishing and NetGalley for the DRC of “My Pen Is the Wing of a Bird: New Fiction by Afghan Women”. The stories are set in various periods varying from the 1980s to the present day and feature men and women in their homeland as they brave the trials and tribulations of war, political upheaval, poverty, oppressive societal norms, misogyny, discrimination and much more. The following stories were especially impactful: “Daughter Number Eight,” “I Don’t Have the Flying Wings,” “Bad Luck,” “D for Daud” (this was the most seering and my favorite), “Khurshid Khanum, Rise and Shine.

There are visceral scenes and descriptions that are rich in the sights, sounds and smells of the country… the clay walls that emanate a specific feel, and the rich fragrances of cooking and herbs waft off the page. These exciting contemporary voices from the country's two main linguistic groups (Pashto and Dari) explore a wide range of issues - family, work, tradition, sexuality, friendship, gender identity and real-life events - through original, vibrant, and tonally varied short fiction. So I think reading a couple stories at a time is probably the way to go and I will definitely take more time with it when I come to rereading this. There are young women who yearn to go to school, widows who mourn their lost husbands and don't want to remarry, men who work as scribes for court complaints and barely make a living to get by, mothers who are separated by continents from their children, women who have been forced to immigrate to the United States and can never find the same comfort and happiness they left behind, and more.She has been reporting from Afghanistan since 1988 when she lived in Kabul and has been a frequent visitor ever since. It is impossible to read this book and not be affected by it – I was in turn saddened, enraged and incredibly moved by these stories and needed to take breaks in between. D for Daud by Anahita Gharib Nawaz is one story that triggered every emotion from heartbreak to love. It's not one to really "race" through as I needed to think about each story and process the emotions I felt.

RATING: I’m giving this book five stars because I don’t think it would be appropriate for me to give it any less.This is a life changing book, it makes you re-think so many things, re-evaluate what’s really important in life, we may all share the same planet, but we do not share the same lives in any way. It did not let me rest till I finished it, as after reading one story, I wanted to read the next one.

They've been translated to English by local Afghan translators, and hence have a touch of simplicity as well as authenticity to their tone. Thank god, I said to myself, that the sun is not someone's property, otherwise I'd have to pay rent for that as well. My peaceful sleep was because of the small service I used to do for my country, because of my streets, because of a sense of freedom one can feel only in one’s own country. We are experiencing delays with deliveries to many countries, but in most cases local services have now resumed. Attractively written, beautifully translated and moving short stories offering a glimpse of social life in a still almost feudal country from the perspective of their female authors.One contributor submitted her story by taking photos of handwritten pages and sending them via WhatsApp. Men always want to speak on behalf of Afghan women, but now it is time for Afghan women to speak for themselves. We use Google Analytics to see what pages are most visited, and where in the world visitors are visiting from. Zainab Akhlaqi’s Blossom, for example, draws on the real-life bombing of the Sayed ul-Shuhada high school in Kabul.

When Lucy Hannah decided to put together an anthology of short stories by Afghan women in 2019, it already seemed like a hugely ambitious project. Zubair Popalzai), a woman who manages to escape her war-torn homeland and move to America, attributes her sleeplessness to her favorite pillow she has left behind and vows to carry it back with her on her next visit. A place where they are not allowed to express themselves or pursue their dreams and where the other half silences half of the population.So this is about encouraging the global gatekeepers to welcome in voices, in translation, who don’t necessarily have a local creative infrastructure to support them. Eighteen Afghan women’s works written in their native Pashto or Dari language were translated for this deeply impactful anthology. OVERALL: I’d recommend this to lovers of ‘We Are Displaced’ by Malala Yousafzai and The Persephone Book of Short Stories. The afterword is very enlightening about the circumstances surrounding the writing and compilation of this book, and I highly recommend reading that as well.



  • Fruugo ID: 258392218-563234582
  • EAN: 764486781913
  • Sold by: Fruugo

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