It’s an unputdownable book that I read from cover to cover without stopping.
This book, although works of fiction, are real stories by real women which evoke great sadness, empathy, sometimes shock but also hope for the future. It’s an unputdownable book that I read from cover to cover without stopping. What brave women, despite many of them not being named to ensure their security, moved me beyond words, and I, and many other readers can only say thank you for these wonderful, beautifully written and translated works that bring to us real stories of endurance and hostility in the difficult world these brave women live in. I look forward to more.
"My pen is the wing of a bird; it will tell you those thoughts we are not allowed to think, those dreams we are not allowed to dream"
A woman's fortitude saves her village from disaster. A teenager explores their identity in a moment of quiet. A petition writer reflects on his life as a dog lies nursing her puppies. A tormented girl tries to find love through a horrific act. A headmaster makes his way to work, treading the fine line between life and death.
My Pen Is the Wing of a Bird is a landmark collection: the first anthology of short fiction by Afghan women. Eighteen writers tell stories that are both unique and universal - stories of family, work, childhood, friendship, war, gender identity and cultural traditions.
This collection introduces extraordinary voices from the country's two main linguistic groups (Pashto and Dari) with original, vital and unexpected stories to tell, developed over two years through UNTOLD's Write Afghanistan project. My Pen Is the Wing of a Bird comes at a pivotal moment in Afghanistan's history, when these voices must be heard.
With an Introduction by BBC Chief International Correspondent Lyse Doucet and an Afterword by Lucy Hannah
|Publication date:||17th February 2022|
|Author:||Lyse Douchet, Lucy Hannah|
|Publisher:||MacLehose Press an imprint of Quercus Publishing|
|Primary Genre||Translated Fiction|
"This book reminds us that everyone has a story. Stories matter; so too the storytellers. Afghan women writers, informed and inspired by their own personal experiences, are best placed to bring us these powerful insights into the lives of Afghans and, most of all, the lives of women. Women's lives, in their own words - they matter." Lyse Doucet in her Introduction
A precious collection of work, the first and maybe last of its kind. My Pen Is the Wing of a Bird is a huge accomplishment -- Monique Roffey - author of THE MERMAID OF BLACK CONCH
Powerful, profound and deeply moving, new fiction by Afghan women writers will expand your mind and elevate your heart -- Elif Shafak
No-one aware of the harrowing events currently playing out in Afghanistan and, in particular, the catastrophic effect this has had on the lives of women, can be unmoved by their plight. The risk of womens' voices being lost and their freedoms eradicated is very high. This book is like a little light shining into the lives of women in Afghanistan. It's a beautiful read -- Jo Brand
Sometimes, life is having beautiful dreams in a nightmare. The authors of this book express their longing to escape a nightmare and build a liveable world. A liveable world for everyone, but especially for women at a time when their body and soul are being destroyed -- Burhan Sonmez - President of PEN International
Here we have stories of the everyday and extraordinary lives of Afghan women, all of them written before the Taliban took power in August 2021. Today, these women writers live under the harshest of conditions, their everyday human rights, as women, revoked. This book is a precious collection of work, the first and maybe last of its kind. My Pen is the Wing of a Bird is a huge accomplishment -- Monique Roffey
These are extraordinary and intense glimpses into a shuttered world, written by women who have to struggle daily to make their voices heard -- Lissa Evans
If fiction offers a window into the world, this is a book of stories you need to open -- Romesh Gunasekera
[An] arresting collection . . . Each of the works in this collection is written in simple, direct prose and offers vivid snapshots of a country beset by war and violence, where misogyny is rife but women continue to dream for a better future . . . The women's extraordinary resilience is celebrated . . . It seems more important than ever to read the work of these courageous writers. -- Lucy Popescu - Financial Times
A gripping and important book told by the women whose voices need to be heard - Bella Magazine
These stories show why the militants are wrong. They take their readers into rooms at televisions cameras and journalists never reach. In the process they reiterate how much Afghan women could again say and do, if only they were allowed to. - Economist
The pandemic and the resumption of Taliban rule have made the publication of My Pen Is the Wing of a Bird little short of a miracle . . . [T]hese short tales draw insight and lyricism from lives lived in the shadow of war, violence and relentless misogyny -- Cameron Woodhead - Sydney Morning Herald
Beautifully written and translated, these stories are gripping, insightful, often shocking, intense and extraordinary - The Lady