Dancing in the Mosque: An Afghan Woman’s Letter to Her Son
By Homeira Qaderi, translated from the Persian by Zaman Stanizai
Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins Publishers (2020)
An accomplished author, professor, and government advisor, Qaderi writes the story of her life, addressing it to her beloved son, who as a toddler was taken from her when she divorced. Her dearest hope is that he will come to know her more fully by understanding their country’s tumultuous history—Soviet occupation, Taliban rule, American invasion—which indelibly marked her childhood and early adulthood. As a teenager—and, surprisingly, with the blessing of her parents--she defied Taliban orders by holding clandestine classes for children deprived of formal schooling. A passionate storyteller even as a small child, she was determined to become a published writer—a goal encouraged by her proud father—and succeeded. Chafing at the strictures of traditional Afghan society, she fought for her education and independence and now fights for the rights of Afghanistan’s women and girls.
“Dancing in the Mosque is heartbreaking, but it’s also alive with curiosity and subversive joy.” (The New York Times)