The Pearl that Broke Its Shell: A Novel

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Afghan-American Nadia Hashimi's literary debut novel is a searing tale of powerlessness, fate, and the freedom to control one's own fate that combines the cultural flavor and emotional resonance of the works of Khaled Hosseini, Jhumpa Lahiri, and Lisa See.

In Kabul, 2007, with a drug-addicted father and no brothers, Rahima and her sisters can only sporadically attend school, and can rarely leave the house. Their only hope lies in the ancient custom of bacha posh, which allows young Rahima to dress and be treated as a boy until she is of marriageable age. As a son, she can attend school, go to the market, and chaperone her older sisters.

But Rahima is not the first in her family to adopt this unusual custom. A century earlier, her great-great grandmother, Shekiba, left orphaned by an epidemic, saved herself and built a new life the same way.

Crisscrossing in time, The Pearl the Broke Its Shell interweaves the tales of these two women separated by a century who share similar destinies. But what will happen once Rahima is of marriageable age? Will Shekiba always live as a man? And if Rahima cannot adapt to life as a bride, how will she survive?

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About the author

Nadia Hashimi was born and raised in New York and New Jersey. Both her parents were born in Afghanistan and left in the early 1970s, before the Soviet invasion. In 2002, Nadia made her first trip to Afghanistan with her parents. She is a pediatrician and lives with her family in the Washington, DC, suburbs. She is the author of three books for adults, as well as the middle grade novels One Half from the East and The Sky at Our Feet. Visit her online at www.nadiahashimi.com.

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Reviews

4.5
77 total
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Additional Information

Publisher
Harper Collins
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Published on
May 6, 2014
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Pages
480
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ISBN
9780062244772
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Contemporary Women
Fiction / Family Life
Fiction / Historical
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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Nadia Hashimi
A vivid, unforgettable story of an unlikely sisterhood—an emotionally powerful and haunting tale of friendship that illuminates the plight of women in a traditional culture—from the author of the bestselling The Pearl That Broke Its Shell and When the Moon Is Low.

For two decades, Zeba was a loving wife, a patient mother, and a peaceful villager. But her quiet life is shattered when her husband, Kamal, is found brutally murdered with a hatchet in the courtyard of their home. Nearly catatonic with shock, Zeba is unable to account for her whereabouts at the time of his death. Her children swear their mother could not have committed such a heinous act. Kamal’s family is sure she did, and demands justice.

Barely escaping a vengeful mob, Zeba is arrested and jailed. As Zeba awaits trial, she meets a group of women whose own misfortunes have also led them to these bleak cells: thirty-year-old Nafisa, imprisoned to protect her from an honor killing; twenty-five-year-old Latifa, who ran away from home with her teenage sister but now stays in the prison because it is safe shelter; and nineteen-year-old Mezhgan, pregnant and unmarried, waiting for her lover’s family to ask for her hand in marriage. Is Zeba a cold-blooded killer, these young women wonder, or has she been imprisoned, as they have been, for breaking some social rule? For these women, the prison is both a haven and a punishment. Removed from the harsh and unforgiving world outside, they form a lively and indelible sisterhood.

Into this closed world comes Yusuf, Zeba’s Afghan-born, American-raised lawyer, whose commitment to human rights and desire to help his motherland have brought him back. With the fate of this seemingly ordinary housewife in his hands, Yusuf discovers that, like Afghanistan itself, his client may not be at all what he imagines.

A moving look at the lives of modern Afghan women, A House Without Windows is astonishing, frightening, and triumphant.

Nadia Hashimi
A vivid, unforgettable story of an unlikely sisterhood—an emotionally powerful and haunting tale of friendship that illuminates the plight of women in a traditional culture—from the author of the bestselling The Pearl That Broke Its Shell and When the Moon Is Low.

For two decades, Zeba was a loving wife, a patient mother, and a peaceful villager. But her quiet life is shattered when her husband, Kamal, is found brutally murdered with a hatchet in the courtyard of their home. Nearly catatonic with shock, Zeba is unable to account for her whereabouts at the time of his death. Her children swear their mother could not have committed such a heinous act. Kamal’s family is sure she did, and demands justice.

Barely escaping a vengeful mob, Zeba is arrested and jailed. As Zeba awaits trial, she meets a group of women whose own misfortunes have also led them to these bleak cells: thirty-year-old Nafisa, imprisoned to protect her from an honor killing; twenty-five-year-old Latifa, who ran away from home with her teenage sister but now stays in the prison because it is safe shelter; and nineteen-year-old Mezhgan, pregnant and unmarried, waiting for her lover’s family to ask for her hand in marriage. Is Zeba a cold-blooded killer, these young women wonder, or has she been imprisoned, as they have been, for breaking some social rule? For these women, the prison is both a haven and a punishment. Removed from the harsh and unforgiving world outside, they form a lively and indelible sisterhood.

Into this closed world comes Yusuf, Zeba’s Afghan-born, American-raised lawyer, whose commitment to human rights and desire to help his motherland have brought him back. With the fate of this seemingly ordinary housewife in his hands, Yusuf discovers that, like Afghanistan itself, his client may not be at all what he imagines.

A moving look at the lives of modern Afghan women, A House Without Windows is astonishing, frightening, and triumphant.

Nadia Hashimi
“Uma história maravilhosa de resistência em uma cultura que não valoriza as mulheres. A escrita de Nadia Hashimi evoca a de Khaled Hosseini.” – Book Reporter “Nadia Hashimi nos agracia com uma história familiar sensível e bela. Seu cativante relato é um retrato do Afeganistão em toda a sua desconcertante e enigmática glória e um espelho das lutas ainda atuais das mulheres afegãs.” – Khaled Hosseini, autor de O caçador de pipas Filhas de um viciado em ópio, Rahima e suas irmãs raramente saem de casa ou vão à escola em meio ao governo opressor do Talibã. Sua única esperança é o antigo costume afegão do bacha posh, que permite à jovem Rahima vestir-se e ser tratada como um garoto até chegar à puberdade, ao período de se casar. Como menino, ela poderá frequentar a escola, ir ao mercado, correr pelas ruas e até sustentar a casa, experimentando um tipo de liberdade antes inimaginável e que vai transformá-la para sempre. Contudo, Rahima não é a primeira mulher da família a adotar esse costume tão singular. Um século antes, sua trisavó Shekiba, que ficou órfã devido a uma epidemia de cólera, salvou-se e construiu uma nova vida de maneira semelhante. A mudança deu início a uma jornada que a levou de uma existência de privações em uma vila rural à opulência do palácio do rei, na efervescente metrópole de Cabul. A pérola que rompeu a concha entrelaça as histórias dessas duas mulheres extraordinárias que, apesar de separadas pelo tempo e pela distância, compartilham a coragem e vão em busca dos mesmos sonhos. Uma comovente narrativa sobre impotência, destino e a busca pela liberdade de controlar os próprios caminhos.
Nadia Hashimi
PRZEPEŁNIONA NIEZWYKŁYM ŁADUNKIEM EMOCJONALNYM KSIĄŻKA, KTÓRA RZUCA ŚWIATŁO NA TRUDNĄ SYTUACJĘ KOBIET W KULTURZE AFGAŃSKIEJ

Autorka Afgańskiej perły i Kiedy księżyc jest nisko powraca z najnowszą powieścią.

Chociaż Ziba od lat prowadzi życie kochającej żony, cierpliwej matki i spokojnej mieszkanki wsi, los okrutnie kpi z jej statecznej sytuacji. Mąż kobiety, Kamal zostaje zamordowany siekierą i znaleziony na ich podwórzu. Ziba jest w ogromnym szoku, więc nie potrafi wyjaśnić, co robiła w momencie zabójstwa. Dzieci zarzekają się, że ich matka nigdy w życiu nie dopuściłaby się takiego czynu. Jednak członkowie rodziny Kamala są przekonani o jej winie i domagają się sprawiedliwości.

Cudem unikając publicznego zlinczowania, Ziba zostaje zabrana do aresztu i uwięziona. Oczekując procesu, przebywa w grupie kobiet, które nieszczęście również zaprowadziło do celi. Wśród jej nowych towarzyszek znajduje się trzydziestojednoletnia Nafisa, dla której więzienie było ocaleniem. W innym przypadku dokonano by na niej honorowego zabójstwa. Ziba mieszka również z ciężarną i niezamężną Meżgan, która ma zaledwie dziewiętnaście lat. W odizolowaniu ma czekać, aż rodzina jej kochanka zdecyduje, że powinni wziąć ślub. Jeśli w ogóle.

Więzienie dla każdej z nich staje się paradoksalnie bezpiecznym azylem i okrutną karą. Usunięte z brutalnej i pozbawionej umiejętności wybaczania społeczności, próbują zmagać się z sytuacją, tworząc trwałe i przypieczętowane ciężkim losem zgromadzenie.

Do tego zamkniętego świata przybywa Jusuf, prawnik Ziby. Mężczyzna jest afgańskiego pochodzenia, ale został wychowany w Ameryce. Jego zaangażowanie w kwestię praw człowieka i tęsknota za rodzimym krajem przywiodły go do Afganistanu. Wie, że los jego klientki zależy od niego. Odkrywa, że zarówno Afganistan, jak i Ziba kryją w sobie wiele tajemnic.

Czy Ziba jest pozbawioną sumienia morderczynią? Czy tak jak inne więźniarki padła ofiarą naruszenia surowych zasad społecznych?

PORUSZAJĄCY WGLĄD W ŻYCIE WSPÓŁCZESNYCH AFGAŃSKICH KOBIET

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Niebywały portret honorowej kobiety w otoczeniu mężczyzn obdartych z honoru – „Kirkus Reviews”

Nadia Hashimi
ODYSEJA ODWAŻNEJ AFGANKI, KTÓRA WRAZ Z RODZINĄ PRÓBUJE PRZEDOSTAĆ SIĘ DO LEPSZEGO ŚWIATA – PIERWSZA TAK PORUSZAJĄCA POWIEŚĆ O UCHODŹCACH

Mahmud kocha swoją żonę Feribę ponad życie. Są razem szczęśliwi i dobrze im się wiedzie. Wszystko jednak się zmienia, gdy w ich kraju wybucha wojna, a do władzy dochodzą talibowie.

Mahmud, z zawodu inżynier, staje się celem nowego reżimu fundamentalistów i zostaje zamordowany. Feriba, zmuszona do opuszczenia Kabulu z trójką dzieci, ma tylko jedną nadzieję: przedostać się do Europy i dołączyć do rodziny siostry w Anglii. Pod osłoną nocy, dzięki fałszywym dokumentom i życzliwym uchodźcom spotykanym po drodze, Feriba przedziera się do Iranu. Wyczerpana, zrozpaczona, ale zarazem silnie zdeterminowana, by dotrzeć do celu, nielegalnie dociera aż do Grecji. To w tym kraju rozegra się prawdziwy dramat: na ruchliwym rynku nastoletni syn Feriby, Selim, zostanie rozdzielony z resztą rodziny.

Główna bohaterka, stojąc w obliczu tragicznego wyboru, decyduje się na dalszą podróż z dwójką pozostałych dzieci, Selim zaś wpada do tak zwanego podziemia – grupy niezidentyfikowanych Afgańczyków, którzy nawiedzają ulice europejskich stolic.

 Czy  Feriba i Selim w końcu się odnajdą? Czy uda im się zacząć nowe życie na europejskim kontynencie? Jak potoczą się ich dalsze losy jako uchodźców w obcej dla nich kulturze?

DOWIEDZ SIĘ, CO NAPRAWDĘ PRZEŻYWAJĄ UCHODŹCY PRÓBUJĄCY PRZEDRZEĆ SIĘ DO EUROPY…

 

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