A landmark collection: the first anthology of short fiction by Afghan women that are "powerful, profound, and deeply moving" (Elif Shafak, author of The Island of Missing Trees, a Reese's Book Club pick)
"My pen is the wing of a bird; it will tell you those thoughts we are not allowed to think, those dreams we are not allowed to dream."
Eighteen Afghan women living in, speaking about, and writing from the country itself tell stories that are powerful and illuminating, unique and universal - stories of family, work, childhood, friendship, war, gender identity, and cultural traditions.
A woman's fortitude saves her village from disaster. A teenager explores their identity in a moment of quiet. A tormented girl tries to find love through a horrific act. A headmaster makes his way to work, treading the fine line between life and death.
These and more original, vital, and unexpected stories hail from extraordinary voices rooted in Afghanistan's two main linguistic groups (Pashto and Dari), and were developed over two years through the writer development program Untold's Write Aghanistan Project. My Pen Is the Wing of a Bird comes at a pivotal moment in Afghanistan's history, when these voices must be heard.
With an Introduction by Lyse Doucet, BBC chief international correspondant, and afterword by Lucy Hannah, Founder and Director of Untold
About the Author
The authors are Maryam Mahjoba, Freshta Ghani, Masouma Kawsari, Fatema Haidari, Sharifa Pasun, Elahe Hosseini, Batool Haidari, Atifa Mozaffari, Anahita Gharib Nawaz, Parand, Marie Bamyani, Maliha Naji, Fatima Saadat, Fatangis Elyassi, Fatema Khavari, Naeema Ghani, Zainab Aklhaqi, and Rana Zurmaty.
"Powerful, profound and deeply moving, new fiction by Afghan women writers will expand your mind and elevate your heart."—ELIF SHAFAK, author of The Island of Missing Trees, a 2021 Reese’s Book Club Pick
"Sometimes, life is having beautiful dreams in a nightmare. The authors of this book express their longing to escape a nightmare and build a liveable world. A liveable world for everyone, but especially for women at a time when their body and soul are being destroyed."—BURHAN SÖNMEZ, President of International PEN
“Revelatory… a remarkable portrait of lives largely invisible to readers outside Afghanistan. This brims with humanity.”—Publishers Weekly—Publishers Weekly
“Gut-wrenching… This intense collection does inspire hope.”--NPR—NPR