An investigative journalist uncovers a hidden custom that will transform your understanding of what it means to grow up as a girl
In Afghanistan, a culture ruled almost entirely by men, the birth of a son is cause for celebration and the arrival of a daughter is often mourned as misfortune. A (literally translated from Dari as “dressed up like a boy”) is a third kind of child – a girl temporarily raised as a boy and presented as such to the outside world. Jenny Nordberg, the reporter who broke the story of this phenomenon for the , constructs a powerful and moving account of those secretly living on the other side of a deeply segregated society where women have almost no rights and little freedom.
is anchored by vivid characters who bring this remarkable story to life: Azita, a female parliamentarian who sees no other choice but to turn her fourth daughter Mehran into a boy; Zahra, the tomboy teenager who struggles with puberty and refuses her parents' attempts to turn her back into a girl; Shukria, now a married mother of three after living for twenty years as a man; and Nader, who prays with Shahed, the undercover female police officer, as they both remain in male disguise as adults.
At the heart of this emotional narrative is a new perspective on the extreme sacrifices of Afghan women and girls against the violent backdrop of America's longest war. Divided into four parts, the book follows those born as the unwanted sex in Afghanistan, but who live as the socially favored gender through childhood and puberty, only to later be forced into marriage and childbirth. charts their dramatic life cycles, while examining our own history and the parallels to subversive actions of people who live under oppression everywhere.It sounds amazing and from what I have read so far, it is as interesting as the blurb promises.
Tuesday Intros is hosted by Diane over at Bibliophile by the Sea and Teaser Tuesdays is hosted over at A Daily Rhythm.
'Prologue:The transition begins here.I remove the black head scarf and tuck it into my backpack. My hair stays in a knotted bun on the back of my head.' 2%
'Chapter one:'"Our brother is really a girl."' 2%I liked both of these beginnings. Although the beginning of Chapter 1 is a bit more eye-catching, the prologue was a great way of settling the reader in with the main character.
'Similar to Carol's take on the subject, it made a certain sense to Nancy: "Segregation calls for creativity, she told me."' 7%I'm not very far into the book yet as you can see and I didn't want to jump ahead. Also, I thought this teaser was really interesting because I definitely think it's true. When people are suppressed they find ways around it.
Have you read this book? And what do you think of it?