Sharifa travels back to her homeland of India with her husband, hoping to save her marriage and to reconnect with relatives while she pursues researching her great-great-grandfather. What awaits her is more than she could have imagined! Sharifa comes face-to-face with traditional Indian customs, which still linger in the modern world. The novel takes an in-depth look into the age-old Indian tradition of Khatna (female genital mutilation) and the mental and family consequences it has today.
One of the most compelling aspects of this story is the women’s roles. They are the heroes, the victims, and the enforcers of this tradition, which is still happening in some communities today!
Check out the Audiobook HERE and the Ebook HERE
AN INDIGO BEST BOOK OF 2020
A GLOBE AND MAIL BEST INDEPENDENT READ FOR FALL 2020
Be prepared for this novel to stay with you for a long time, especially its ending.--GLOBE AND MAIL
An] extraordinary book... packed with discovery and jarring emotional arcs.--TORONTO STAR
Penetrating and subtle ... An] immersive, absorbing portrait.--EDEN ROBINSON
Explores with courage and storytelling finesse the harsh truths within the ideals of kinship and community. --DAVID CHARIANDY
An urgent and passionate read. --VIVEK SHRAYA
Visceral and emotional... a courageous feat.--QUILL & QUIRE (starred review)
A brave, soulfully written feminist novel about inheritance and resistance that tests the balance between kinship and the fight against customs that harm us.
When Sharifa accompanies her husband on a marriage-saving trip to India in 2016, she thinks that she's going to research her great-great-grandfather, a wealthy business leader and philanthropist. What captures her imagination is not his rags-to-riches story, but the mystery of his four wives, missing from the family lore. She ends up excavating much more than she had imagined.
Sharifa's trip coincides with a time of unrest within her insular and conservative religious community, and there is no escaping its politics. A group of feminists is speaking out against khatna, an age-old ritual they insist is female genital cutting. Sharifa's two favourite cousins are on opposite sides of the debate and she seeks a middle ground. As the issue heats up, Sharifa discovers an unexpected truth and is forced to take a position.
About the Author
Farzana Doctor is the author of Stealing Nasreen, All Inclusive, and Six Metres of Pavement, which won a Lambda Literary Award and was short-listed for the Toronto Book Award. She lives in Toronto.