My Name is Salma

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Doubleday, 2007 - Honor killings - 287 pages
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In her village of Hima in the Levant, Salma, a young goat-herd, has violated the code of her Bedouin tribe by becoming pregnant before marriage. To restore their honour, the villagers set out to kill her. Now a runaway from the men of her tribe, Salma's days playing the pipe for her goats and swimming in the spring are over. She is placed in prison for her own protection, and to the sound of her deafening screams, her newborn baby is taken away. After several years, when it seems the men have given up on their chase, she moves to England to seek asylum. So begins her new life in the permissive West. In the middle of the most English of English towns, Exeter, she learns good manners from her ancient landlady, and strives to have a social life at the local pub. But it is with the help of Parvin, a feisty Pakistani girl on the run from an arranged marriage, that Salma is finally able to forge a new identity. Living by her 'Immigrant Survival Guide', she settles down with an Englishman. But deep in her heart the cries of her baby daughter still echo. When she can no longer bear them, she decides to go back to her village to find her. It is a journey that will change everything. Fadia Faqir's portrait of the fractured lives of immigrants caught up in a painful yet exhilarating cross-cultural encounter is both heartbreaking and humorous. It is a story that will leave no-one unmoved.

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About the author (2007)

Fadia Faqir is a Jordanian/British writer and defender of human rights, especially women's rights in the Arab world. She is the author of two other novels, Nisanit and Pillars of Salt. In 1990 the University of East Anglia awarded her the first Ph.D in Critical and Creative Writing. Brought up in Amman she now lives with her husband in Durham. For more information please visit www.fadiafaqir.com

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