Hot Best Seller

My Past Is a Foreign Country

Availability: Ready to download

'A brave new voice that reaches out to us all' Miranda Doyle, author of A Book of Untruths 27-year-old Zeba Talkhani charts her experiences growing up in Saudi Arabia amid patriarchal customs reminiscent of The Handmaid's Tale, and her journey to find freedom abroad in India, Germany and the UK as a young woman. Talkhani offers a fresh perspective on living as an outsider an 'A brave new voice that reaches out to us all' Miranda Doyle, author of A Book of Untruths 27-year-old Zeba Talkhani charts her experiences growing up in Saudi Arabia amid patriarchal customs reminiscent of The Handmaid's Tale, and her journey to find freedom abroad in India, Germany and the UK as a young woman. Talkhani offers a fresh perspective on living as an outsider and examines her relationship with her mother and the challenges she faced when she experienced hair loss at a young age. Rejecting the traditional path her culture had chosen for her, Talkhani became financially independent and married on her own terms in the UK. Drawing on her personal experiences Talkhani shows how she fought for the right to her individuality as a feminist Muslim and refused to let negative experiences define her.


Compare

'A brave new voice that reaches out to us all' Miranda Doyle, author of A Book of Untruths 27-year-old Zeba Talkhani charts her experiences growing up in Saudi Arabia amid patriarchal customs reminiscent of The Handmaid's Tale, and her journey to find freedom abroad in India, Germany and the UK as a young woman. Talkhani offers a fresh perspective on living as an outsider an 'A brave new voice that reaches out to us all' Miranda Doyle, author of A Book of Untruths 27-year-old Zeba Talkhani charts her experiences growing up in Saudi Arabia amid patriarchal customs reminiscent of The Handmaid's Tale, and her journey to find freedom abroad in India, Germany and the UK as a young woman. Talkhani offers a fresh perspective on living as an outsider and examines her relationship with her mother and the challenges she faced when she experienced hair loss at a young age. Rejecting the traditional path her culture had chosen for her, Talkhani became financially independent and married on her own terms in the UK. Drawing on her personal experiences Talkhani shows how she fought for the right to her individuality as a feminist Muslim and refused to let negative experiences define her.

30 review for My Past Is a Foreign Country

  1. 5 out of 5

    Eric Anderson

    For some reason I’ve been drawn to reading a number of memoirs recently. I’m not sure if this is just a coincidence or if it’s because I’m especially drawn to real stories of lives so different from my own. Certainly (on the surface) Zeba Talkhani’s history is very distant from my own upbringing and path in life. She grew up as a Muslim girl of Indian descent in Saudi Arabia before moving to study in India, Germany and England. Yet I came to feel such a strong sense of kinship with her over the For some reason I’ve been drawn to reading a number of memoirs recently. I’m not sure if this is just a coincidence or if it’s because I’m especially drawn to real stories of lives so different from my own. Certainly (on the surface) Zeba Talkhani’s history is very distant from my own upbringing and path in life. She grew up as a Muslim girl of Indian descent in Saudi Arabia before moving to study in India, Germany and England. Yet I came to feel such a strong sense of kinship with her over the course of reading her powerful and inspiring memoir “My Past is a Foreign Country”. I connected strongly to her sensibility in a number of ways from a small detail like her love for the wonderful film ‘Violette’ or larger issues such as how physical distance from our homelands has allowed us a broader perspective on our upbringing and cultures. But, aside from the ways I personally connected to this book, I felt an overall admiration and respect for the development of her identity as a proud feminist, Muslim and intellectual. Read my full review of My Past is a Foreign Country by Zeba Talkhani on LonesomeReader

  2. 4 out of 5

    Amal Bedhyefi

    Would you believe me if i told you that i didn't want this book to end ? My Past is A Foreign Country is Zeba Talkhani's memoir on growing up as a an Indian Muslim in Saudi arabia and her quest for freedom through education in India , Germany and England. Zeba's powerful and honest storytelling made it seem as if i was having a heart-to-heart conversation with a friend . I felt her sorrow , concern , fear , melancholy , contenment and happiness. That's how gripping the story was ! Although we were Would you believe me if i told you that i didn't want this book to end ? My Past is A Foreign Country is Zeba Talkhani's memoir on growing up as a an Indian Muslim in Saudi arabia and her quest for freedom through education in India , Germany and England. Zeba's powerful and honest storytelling made it seem as if i was having a heart-to-heart conversation with a friend . I felt her sorrow , concern , fear , melancholy , contenment and happiness. That's how gripping the story was ! Although we were brought up in different societies , Zeba and I shared a lot of emotions . I smiled when she spoke about her becoming a feminist and how she discovered Kimberly Krenchaw and started identifying as an Intersectional Feminist instead . I also smiled when she talked about her journey to re-discover her religion and make up her own mind about a lot of what have been forced upon her . and I definitely smiled some more when i found out that she read and loved Austen's Pride and Prejudice . Zeba's story sheds light on interesting yet controversial topics namely patriarchy , the way beauty standards damage self esteem and feminism amongst others , which were all approachaed with sensitivity, honesty and bravery. Thank you for this exceptional and remarkable read Zeba . Your story is definitely an inspiration .

  3. 5 out of 5

    Firqzy

    "It seemed to me that the more our parents policed their daughters, the more they lost track of their sons." ⠀ .⠀ What a beautifully written memoir by Zeba , I wondered what would draw me to her story - since I've not heard of her beyond us being Instagram friends (hehe), but I was curious. This book was perfect, it captured the struggles of a Muslim woman (whatever ethnicity you are) : the pressure to be married, smart, beautiful, and the dual standards between man and woman. The control that not "It seemed to me that the more our parents policed their daughters, the more they lost track of their sons." ⁠⠀ .⁠⠀ What a beautifully written memoir by Zeba , I wondered what would draw me to her story - since I've not heard of her beyond us being Instagram friends (hehe), but I was curious. This book was perfect, it captured the struggles of a Muslim woman (whatever ethnicity you are) : the pressure to be married, smart, beautiful, and the dual standards between man and woman. The control that not only came from men, but our mothers who were scolded for not "policing" their daughters enough. ⁠ .⁠⠀ While I could not relate with some of Zeba's experiences, I was glad this book was written because Muslim women's experiences often overlap. We have all faced in varying degrees the same patriarchal expectations & also held the same thoughts/disappointment about the number of mediocre men there are out there for us who are, essentially, a product of this patriarchal society that is "unconditionally accepting of their mediocrity". Ah... the woes of heterosexual dating.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Charlott

    In My Past Is A Foreign Country, Zeba Talkhani tells the story of the first 27 years of her life. She writes about growing up as an Indian Muslim girl in Saudi Arabia, then moving for her studies first to India, then Germany, and finally the UK. Her story (as the book's tagline says "A Muslim feminist finds herself") could have been easily told in a way which plays easily into the West's favourite narratives about Muslim women finding emancipation in the West. But Talkhani tells her story in a w In My Past Is A Foreign Country, Zeba Talkhani tells the story of the first 27 years of her life. She writes about growing up as an Indian Muslim girl in Saudi Arabia, then moving for her studies first to India, then Germany, and finally the UK. Her story (as the book's tagline says "A Muslim feminist finds herself") could have been easily told in a way which plays easily into the West's favourite narratives about Muslim women finding emancipation in the West. But Talkhani tells her story in a way that actively examines such narrow boxes and deconstructs them. She looks critically at the society she grew up in but uses her same astute ability for observations of societies she moves to. And while the book is very approachable and Talkhani does explain a lot of terms, concepts, food, etc., she never loses her own perspective. The memoir touches upon topics such as mother-daughter relationships within the patriarchy, living with hair loss and navigating ideas around beauty, migration (from the privileges connected to her own migration story to the connection of colonialism and migration), finding her own connection to her religion, racism in the West, the exclusionary nature of the publishing industry, and sexual assault. The multitude of themes feels never too much - just as the reflection of life and Talkhani's personal growth is the thread to hold it all together.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie Jane (Literary Flits)

    See more of my book reviews on my blog, Literary Flits For all the fuss made in the UK about Muslim women's lives and choices, it seems rare for any to actually get an opportunity to put across their own point of view. Boris's casually misogynistic racism was widely reported, but responses from the women he insulted were not. This prevalent attitude is what, for me, made reading Zeba Talkhani's memoir such a refreshing experience. My Past Is A Foreign Country is open and honest - a Muslim woman s See more of my book reviews on my blog, Literary Flits For all the fuss made in the UK about Muslim women's lives and choices, it seems rare for any to actually get an opportunity to put across their own point of view. Boris's casually misogynistic racism was widely reported, but responses from the women he insulted were not. This prevalent attitude is what, for me, made reading Zeba Talkhani's memoir such a refreshing experience. My Past Is A Foreign Country is open and honest - a Muslim woman speaking her mind. Talkhani grew up within the strict patriarchal interpretations of Islam practiced in Saudi Arabia but, as she later learned living in Germany and Britain, assumptions of male privilege are by no means restricted to Muslim countries. Personally I would ask whether a woman who feels she cannot leave her home without covering her face with cosmetics is more free than one who feels she must cover her face with fabric. In both cases the question of individual choice should be paramount. 'I want to ...' rather than 'I must ...'. One of the most interesting parts of My Past Is A Foreign Country, I thought, is when Talkhani discusses what drives women to perpetuate discriminatory patriarchal systems. Her understanding of both social and personal pressures is certainly thought-provoking. I hope My Past Is A Foreign Country is widely read and appreciated by women and men regardless of their faith or politics. Talkhani's feminism chimes strongly with my own ideas on the subject and I felt that a lot of what she has to say transcends divisions of gender, religion or nationality.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Gayle Noble

    Zeba Talkhani narrates her life growing up as a Muslim in Saudi Arabia, and her years of study in Germany and the UK, and recounts her struggle to be a feminist within a strict patriarchal culture. I thought it was an interesting read. The struggles that women face seem to be universal, no matter what religion you are or where you live: the unattainable beauty ideals, the pressure to get married, and the fact that equality for women seems to be lip service in many cases because when it comes dow Zeba Talkhani narrates her life growing up as a Muslim in Saudi Arabia, and her years of study in Germany and the UK, and recounts her struggle to be a feminist within a strict patriarchal culture. I thought it was an interesting read. The struggles that women face seem to be universal, no matter what religion you are or where you live: the unattainable beauty ideals, the pressure to get married, and the fact that equality for women seems to be lip service in many cases because when it comes down to it, we aren't respected and valued by society much at all. For all of this, there are moments of triumph, acceptance, and real happiness within the book and these are heartwarming. Well worth a read. Thanks to NetGalley and publishers, Hodder & Stoughton / Sceptre, for the opportunity to read an ARC.

  7. 4 out of 5

    thewoollygeek

    A powerful read is a huge understatement, this book fills you with hope and Zeba is such an inspiration to every generation, women and men. More books like this are needed , I can’t emphasise this enough. Thank you so much for sharing your story Zeba. I hope it inspires so many people as much as it did me. Thanks to netgalley and the publisher for a free copy for an honest opinion

  8. 5 out of 5

    Sue

    Zeba Talkhani is a 27 year old Indian woman, who grew up in the ex-pat community of Saudi Arabia. This book is her brutally honest memoir of her journey to find freedom as a feminist Muslim woman, through her experiences in India, Saudi Arabia, Germany and the UK. This is a book about a young Muslim woman trying to establish her own feminist identity within the patriarchy of her religion and family. She starts by using her earliest memories of her relationship with her mother to explain her confusi Zeba Talkhani is a 27 year old Indian woman, who grew up in the ex-pat community of Saudi Arabia. This book is her brutally honest memoir of her journey to find freedom as a feminist Muslim woman, through her experiences in India, Saudi Arabia, Germany and the UK. This is a book about a young Muslim woman trying to establish her own feminist identity within the patriarchy of her religion and family. She starts by using her earliest memories of her relationship with her mother to explain her confusion at the behaviour of the women close to her. Zeba then goes on to detail her experiences at school; her fight to be allowed to study at university, particularly since this meant living away from home; her studies in Germany; her studies in England; and finally working and trying to meet a suitable husband. Zeba's home life was further complicated by the fact that she suffered from alopecia, which her mother found extremely difficult to handle. In a community where marriageability is judged primarily on appearance, Zeba's hair loss placed a great strain on her close family's relationship with their friends and neighbours and rumours about her condition led to some, quite frankly, appalling behaviour on the part of her extended family. All through this book, Zeba explains how she has had to fight against the expectations placed upon her by the patriarchal dictates of the Muslim community, to establish herself as a self-reliant young woman. Her different experiences have led her to educate herself about living a feminist life within Islam, which has not been a very easy thing to do! Considering she is still a very young woman, I have to admire how far she has come at such a young age. Although, she has been privileged in some ways, by having a family who have learnt to respect her wishes, she tells of the experiences of her less fortunate young women friends and relatives and this makes for grim reading. One of the things, I found most interesting is that Zeba explains that in Saudi Arabia she felt too dark-skinned and a foreigner unable to speak Arabic; whilst, in India, she still felt an outsider, as a minority Muslim, so she felt a foreigner there too. However, she does consider Saudi Arabia to be her home and she has much love for this country - despite the assumption from many people believing she must have hated her time under the strict regime imposed upon Muslims in that country. It was very interesting to read about the different experiences Zeba had in Saudi Arabia, compared to the Saudi women, as an ex-pat resident - albeit still a Muslim. Zeba has done a lot of thinking about her place in life for such a young woman. She has reached some very mature conclusions about why Muslim women living under a strict patriarchy allow the restrictions placed upon them to continue - after all, many of the most unpleasant consequences of being a young Muslim woman are perpetuated by older women. I find this situation very difficult to come to terms with, and having a daughter myself, only want her to have everything good in her life and to protect her from the bad. Zeba has formulated that older Muslim women are in fact traumatized by their own experiences as young women and are therefore, too afraid to stand up to the patriarchy. She reasons that her own mother struggled with the expectations placed on her to behave in a particular way as a wife and mother, which made it impossible for her to behave as she would have wished. I think there is some truth in this, but I wonder if she will be quite as philosophical about it when she has her own children - especially if she has daughters. This book is absolutely fascinating. I have not read anything quite like it before and could not put it down. In short, this is a book which should be read by everyone - especially young women. Zeba has suffered from some pretty traumatic experiences in her young life and the arrogant behaviour she has been exposed to is very difficult to read about. However, she has been very lucky as a young Muslim woman in a lot of ways and she has been able to get to a place where she is happy with her own identity and able to live the life she wants to lead. She is a fine role model. This is an important and brutally honest book. I understand that her honesty has not gone down well with some members of her family - not surprising considering the way some of them have behaved in the past. I admire Zeba's stance that she has only detailed the parts of her life she remembers quite clearly as affecting her deeply, without speculating on the intentions of those involved, but in many cases you can assume that their intentions were far from good. This is something they will have to come to terms with themselves and I can imagine they are not happy about having their own shortcomings made public. I can only say that they should use this memoir as a basis from improving their own hurtful behaviour (and writing scathing comments in a review of this book on Amazon, will hardly gain them any sympathy from someone who has read the contents of these pages). I have been pleasantly surprised about the crop of excellent books by young Muslim women around at the moment, and this is definitely one of them. Long may this continue.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Tahoora Hashmi

    I am so damn greatful I got to read this book. This book is everything I knew yet wanted to hear. In this book the author talks about her experiences as she grew up in Saudi Arabia and her exclusion there amongst the locals as a South-Asian, the struggles she had to go through due to the deep rooted patriarchy system all done in the name of religion sometimes and other times simply because the extended Indian families can't help but poke their noses in others lives, how she was brave enough to p I am so damn greatful I got to read this book. This book is everything I knew yet wanted to hear. In this book the author talks about her experiences as she grew up in Saudi Arabia and her exclusion there amongst the locals as a South-Asian, the struggles she had to go through due to the deep rooted patriarchy system all done in the name of religion sometimes and other times simply because the extended Indian families can't help but poke their noses in others lives, how she was brave enough to pursue higher education back in India and then in Germany and UK. The author talks about finding her religion, self insecurity and growth as she struggled with hair loss from an early age and her relationship with her mother. 🔸 The narration was not only bold and powerful but it was so gripping that I couldn't put it down and believe me when I say I didn't want it to end. I connected to the author on so many levels despite not being raised in the exact same surrounding it still felt like I was talking to an old friend. Her writing style was simply beautiful. I laughed when something silly was mentioned, I cried when the author talked about something emotional someone close to her went through. It was brutally honest and I absolutely loved that thing about her. Even though the book talked about a lot of subjects it never felt like the author drifted away from the main theme. Personally I am so proud of the person the author have become and her journey to being an Intersectional Feminist even though I don't know her personally. YOU KNOW THOSE TIMES WHEN YOU WISH YOU WERE FRIENDS WITH THE AUTHOR? YEAH I AM GOING THROUGH THAT PHASE NOW😂 It's a MUST MUST read for everyone and I highly recommend it.❤

  10. 5 out of 5

    Michelle B

    A very different insight into the life of a Indian Muslim woman brought up in Saudi Arabia, who spent time living, and then studying, in India, and then Europe. I admit that before I started reading the book I had my own prejudices; that as an Indian girl living in Saudi, Zeba must have had an horrendous time. I made assumptions that her family would have been treated badly, and that as a woman, she would have been even more so. I was so pleased to read Zeba’s account that, whilst everything was A very different insight into the life of a Indian Muslim woman brought up in Saudi Arabia, who spent time living, and then studying, in India, and then Europe. I admit that before I started reading the book I had my own prejudices; that as an Indian girl living in Saudi, Zeba must have had an horrendous time. I made assumptions that her family would have been treated badly, and that as a woman, she would have been even more so. I was so pleased to read Zeba’s account that, whilst everything was not perfect for her, life was not what many, including myself, expect of Saudi Arabia. Zeba is an amazing and strong woman, she tells her story so far so passionately. She does not just accept anything, her quest for knowledge is unending whether it is at an early age asking questions of Islam, when no one else dare do so, or not accepting the standards of beauty or more importantly the patriarchal norms in society. Zeba is an inspirational woman. Thanks to NetGalley for a Kindle copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  11. 5 out of 5

    MR I

    Review by Author's family member Congratulations to Zeba for the publication of her book. A landmark achievement. Big part of this book is about author's experience of her hair loss becoming a centre of concern to her family members. I do not wish to portray myself to be unsympathetic to the author. I am truly sorry for author's suffering and for what she has been through. It's important some facts are put in the public domain. Hair loss is author's sad story of life. People suffer from illnesses of Review by Author's family member Congratulations to Zeba for the publication of her book. A landmark achievement. Big part of this book is about author's experience of her hair loss becoming a centre of concern to her family members. I do not wish to portray myself to be unsympathetic to the author. I am truly sorry for author's suffering and for what she has been through. It's important some facts are put in the public domain. Hair loss is author's sad story of life. People suffer from illnesses of various nature, but how the person deals with it reflects the personality of the individual. It looks as though author being in a state of sensitive mind has misread the gestures of innocent sympathizers in her family. One must ask why would anyone cherish a young family member's suffering. Its also not conceivable if it's true story why author did not confront these relatives and address the issue, instead has chosen literally to bank on it. Patriarchy: Author has been supported allthroughout her journey by the very same family which she has been so critical. Coming from a traditional indian muslim family, author has travelled and stayed by herself in many western countries which is almost unheard of in this part of the world. Most of author's male family members have not manged to even have their holidays in these various countries where the author has lived for her education. Family is proud of her. Where is the role of Patriarchy come here is difficult to contemplate. Author appears to be taking the readers for a ride. Reality is that author has lived a privileged life most will envy. She has had her education in one of the most prestigious institutions in India, travelled to Germany for post graduation and studied in Cambridge UK for further education. All with parents support. Author's achievement independent of her family's support is that she managed to marry a British citizen enabling her to remain in the western world. This is perhaps authors only personal achievement which gave her the platform to work and publish the book which is full of fabricated emotions. False portrayal of herself as a victim is not a crime. Good move for publicity. Author comes out in this book as a psychologically affected person due to her hair loss during her teenage years, opportunist and self indulged in false sympathy by the group of cronies surrounding her. There is an obsession in the western world to encourage any write-ups on patriarchy in the muslim world in any form it appears. Author of this book is well aware of it. Portrayed herself as a victim and chose this path to achieve fame. Author has groomed a bundle of followers on her twitter account since 2011. All along she has projected to this group as a victim seeking attention. Literature world has been pulling a rug over the eyes of the public. These authors prime their friends, invite them for the launch of their books and pat each others back. Write a long great reviews for each other and live in a false artificially created world of their own. Instagram and twitter accounts of these authors are their launching and self patronising platform. All these reviews writers are either invited by the author or by the authors twitter account followers. If this is the way of achieving fame in the world of literacy, it is unfortunate indeed!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Nasim

    Gorgeous, bold and moving, written with an unflinching honesty. I was often struck by the clarity of the writing; the narrative is beautifully controlled, which makes upsetting scenes even more powerful. There are a few scenes where I was close to tears. This young woman’s steadfastness and endless curiosity about the world help her navigate and escape the claustrophobic patriarchy she has grown up in, and also give her strength to cope with the hugely difficult onset of hair loss in her teenage Gorgeous, bold and moving, written with an unflinching honesty. I was often struck by the clarity of the writing; the narrative is beautifully controlled, which makes upsetting scenes even more powerful. There are a few scenes where I was close to tears. This young woman’s steadfastness and endless curiosity about the world help her navigate and escape the claustrophobic patriarchy she has grown up in, and also give her strength to cope with the hugely difficult onset of hair loss in her teenage years. Highly recommend.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jackie Marchant

    Extremely readable and utterly honest, I loved this portrayal of growing up as a Muslim Indian girl in Saudi Arabia. That phrase alone might make you wonder how she survived but, as Zeba herself implies, we can only judge by hearsay - this book sets the record straight and explains so much about what it means to want to be yourself, while adhering to a religion and way of life that is precious to you - and that it can be done. Hard to believe she's only 27, I can see a glittering career ahead.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Nicole Froio

    What a wonderful memoir by a woman of colour living and working in the UK, reflecting on her socialization and culture in a very self-aware and moving tone. Thanks so much for writing this, Zeba--as a Brazilian immigrant in the UK I found much to relate in this book. 100% recommended read if you're interested in feminist interpretations of Islam and living between several worlds and negotiating your self within them.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Paul "Axl" Hurman

    This was 4 for me right up until the astonishing final 20 or so pages. I hope one day I can be as sympathetic, empathetic, and wise as this author, and I hope she writes more books too.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Heather

    Loved this book. Recommend to all!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Susan Lanigan

    I follow and have chatted with Zeba Talkhani a few times online and was eagerly looking forward to her memoir, so much I put it on pre-order so that I could hoover it up as soon as it came out. My optimism proved entirely justified as I read the entire book in one morning and came out the other side informed and intrigued about the lives Talkhani has led as a "Muslim woman finding herself" (the subtitle) in Saudi Arabia, India, Germany and Britain. Talkhani grew up the daughter of Indian expat pa I follow and have chatted with Zeba Talkhani a few times online and was eagerly looking forward to her memoir, so much I put it on pre-order so that I could hoover it up as soon as it came out. My optimism proved entirely justified as I read the entire book in one morning and came out the other side informed and intrigued about the lives Talkhani has led as a "Muslim woman finding herself" (the subtitle) in Saudi Arabia, India, Germany and Britain. Talkhani grew up the daughter of Indian expat parents in Saudi Arabia, her father having a post there. Other reviews have mentioned that spending one's formative years in KSA was not as horrible as people might believe, but from reading Talkhani's account it did seem straitened and difficult enough. During the summer months the family would decamp to India and these times were more relaxed - though her mother had difficulties with her father's family, difficulties that would endure and extend to her daughter once she came of age. Talkhani is scrupulously fair on her parents' decisions during her upbringing - from reading the book it's clear that they are two people with good intentions who want to do the right thing but are influenced by the darker notes of a culture which Talkhani herself comes to reject. One particular aspect of that culture highlighted here is Talkhani's paternal relatives' singling her out and stigmatising her due to early hair loss. Now it should be noted that female hair loss is a condition that is stigmatised everywhere - Gail Porter being a prime example - and Western norms are not charitable in this regard. But the combination of stigma and some malign suppressed disaffection among these relatives that needed to find something to "earth" it, no matter what the damage done, was brutal for Talkhani and led her mother to traipse her around the country (in vain) looking for solutions and fearing for her marriageability. It was hard to read about reasonable people doing unreasonable things and it is to the author's credit that we never lose sight that this is the case, and that the author's mother felt she had no choice. If Eastern customs are dissected, Western habits are not off the hook either. Talkhani eventually pushes the boundaries imposed on her and manages to get a scholarship first to a college in India and then to Germany. This last leads her to the UK where she attends a prestigious writing workshop only to realise that the other participants are cutting her out of the conversation and pretending she isn't there - because she is a person of colour. This was hard for me to read also - because even as a white person I've sometimes experienced that "invisibilising" on the part of the writing establishment, but how many times harder and more hurtful must it have been for Zeba Talkhani to have kept continuing to attend a gathering - an entire community, at that - which sought to elide her very existence? This memoir is valuable because its testimony is rare, and hopefully it will open the gates for more stories. Zeba Talkhani's accomplished and compelling story is a triumph and a beauty from start to finish and I warmly recommend reading it.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Miss Fiona Meldrum

  19. 5 out of 5

    Carla Crespo

  20. 4 out of 5

    Nazreen Fazal

  21. 4 out of 5

    B

  22. 4 out of 5

    Sophia

  23. 5 out of 5

    Lucie Deacon

  24. 5 out of 5

    Amy

  25. 4 out of 5

    Kris Šiošytė

  26. 5 out of 5

    Mariam Idrissi

  27. 5 out of 5

    rasheeda

  28. 5 out of 5

    Abbie Headon

  29. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

  30. 4 out of 5

    Amy

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.