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AN INDIGO BEST BOOK OF 2020 - A GLOBE AND MAIL BEST INDEPENDENT READ FOR FALL 2020 - AN APPLE BOOKS BEST BOOK OF 2020 - A CBC BOOKS BEST CANADIAN FICTION BOOK OF 2020 - A NOW MAGAZINE TOP TEN BOOK OF 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.