Willow Trees Don’t Weep by Fadia Faqir

a nutshell: a young woman travels from Jordan through Pakistan, Afghanistan and England in search of her father – soon discovering he has become a jihad fighter

a line: “whoever divided this loaf did not have one fair bone in their body”

an image: as her mother recalls her husband’s abandonment, Najwa’s heart falls, bangs against tiles and shatters like a demitasse (a small cup for Turkish coffee)

a thought: by portraying fundamentalists, moderate believers & secular Jordanians, Faqir prompts questions on how to navigate faith when not fitting neatly into any of these categories

a fact: the novelist’s inspiration came from hearing that a man in her neighbourhood had died fighting “somebody else’s war” in Afghanistan in 1987

 

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