A rich, soulfully written novel about inheritance and resistance that tests the balance between modern and traditional customs.
When Sharifa accompanies her husband on a marriage-saving trip to India, 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 the 2012 Lambda Literary Award and was short-listed for the Toronto Book Award. Farzana is one of CBC Books' Ten Canadian Women Writers You Need to Read Now and the recipient of the Writers' Trust of Canada's Dayne Ogilvie Grant. She lives in Toronto.