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One of our New Gen Debuts of the Year 2011.
A touching and thought-provoking story set in contemporary Afghanistan, Words in the Dust uncovers how the lives of women and girls are changing. Zulaikha, a younger sister born with a disfiguring cleft palate, captures the details of the life of drudgery of herself and her older sister Zeynab as they help their step mother look after the house and their younger brothers. Growing up under the Taliban, these girls have had had no chance of education; instead they think only of making a good marriage. But, the arrival of the American soldiers brings huge changes. Can Zulaikha’s face really be fixed? And can she have an education? So much suddenly seems possible. In contrast, Zeynab’s marriage, arranged by their father and thought to be a great opportunity, goes horribly wrong.
Zulaikha hopes. She hopes for peace, now that the Taliban have been driven out of Afghanistan. She hopes for a better relationship with her hard stepmother. And she hopes one day even to go to school. Then she meets Meena, who offers to teach her the poetry she once taught her mother. And the Americans come to the village, promising not just new opportunities, but surgery to mend Zulaikha's face. But can Zulaikha dare to hope they will come true? Trent Reedy's breathtaking first novel is based on his experiences serving with the US Army in Afghanistan and, in a land where hidebound traditions clash with an emerging desire for freedom, offers humanity and hope.
An interview with Trent Reedy:
"Remarkable ... It's a real page-turner. Trent Reedy has evoked the sights and sounds of Afghanistan with a sure hand. Zulaikha is a compelling character who lingers in the mind long after one has finished reading the novel." - Elizabeth Laird, author of Crusade and Kiss the Dust
"A brilliant first book." Jamila Gavin, author of Coram Boy
"A striking and beautifully told story.” Los Angeles Times
Publication date: 01/09/2011
Publisher: Frances Lincoln Childrens Books an imprint of Frances Lincoln Publishers Ltd
|Publication date:||1st September 2011|
|Publisher:||Frances Lincoln Childrens Books an imprint of Frances Lincoln Publishers Ltd|
|Genres:||NewGen - YA Fiction, eBook Favourites, Reading Groups,|
Trent Reedy grew up in Iowa and has always loved telling stories. He majored in English at the University of Iowa and paid for his course by joining the Iowa Army National Guard. Called up to serve in Afghanistan in 2004, he experienced bad feelings both about the war and leaving his wife and home. Then, after reading Katherine Paterson's novel Bridge to Terabithia he started thinking about writing for young people. One of the children he encountered in Afghanistan was a young girl named Zulaikha, who had suffered since birth from a cleft lip. A U.S. army doctor gave ...More About Trent Reedy