‘Shame’ True story of Jasvinders experience of forced marriage …which she escaped from at 15 years of age, before her parents could set this up. She was locked in her bedroom ,until/ unless… she agreed to marry the man her parents had planned for her to marry from the age of 8,…she escaped to Newcastle…..her efforts to be accepted by her family were rejected by them…despite her many attempts. She did reconcile with her parents before they died,despite being shummed by the rest of her family, her mother was unable to see her around any of her family due to her mother claiming that Jasvinder had brought shame on the family. The account of events is set in an honest and brave approach which many people across all backgrounds have related to and empathised with.
The death of her beloved sister Robina, who set fire to herself, whilst in marriage to a man where domestic violence back in Derby propelled Jasvinder to set up a project called’ Karma Nirvana’ on her return Derby ,in the neighbourhood where her family lived.
Jasvinder has amongst many other achievments,worked tirelessly to campaign for forced marriage laws in this country and in 2007 this was achieved through her work.
This book has been a best seller.
2. – ‘Daughters of Shame’ Daughters of Shame was written by Jasvinder as a follow up to her work with Karma Nirvana, It contains true accounts of men and women who have experienced forced marriage and give their accounts to her of what happened to them. It highlights the familiar situations and different presentations of women and men who are forced to marry in the name of honour rather than choice.
Again this 2nd book was a best seller.
Shame Travels….This is Jasvinders Journey to the Punjab in India,to meet her eldest sister bajnu,Shame is an exploration of Jasvinder’s family heritage, and her understanding and journey in context of her history and country of origin. Also how ‘honour issues’ affect the many women in India that she goes on to meet and hear about.
3.Zana Muhsen – ‘A Promise to Nadia’
4.Zana Muhsen and Andrew Crofts – ‘Sold – Story of Modern Day Slavery’
5.Miriam Ali – ‘Without Mercy’ (True story of the mother of Zana Muhsen who wrote “Sold”)
6.Bobby Smith & Margaret Oshindele-Smith – ‘One Love, Two Colours’ (MT Members’ personal experience) About a mixed marriage.
7.Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni – ‘Mistress of Spices’ (This is a book that was made into a film a couple of years back (with Ashwari Rai) Its about a mixed relationship between a white man and an indian woman.. and how the woman came to terms with the differences …whilst working in a spice shop ( dont ask me why..))
8.Yasmin Crowther – ‘The Saffron Garden’ (This is a lovely book written by a mixed race woman of iranian/white parentage I think. Its about her mother who was said to have disgraced her family and her mother before that..its very moving, and yes its about Honour, as the women did nothing wrong. It brings the true meaning of the misplaced notion of honour , recognisable in so many parts of the world. What I liked most about the book was the new generation who went on to appreciate what generations before had gone through to bring them where they were. There was something about this book that made it very real, even though its not clear if its fiction or not. Its an exploration of the mother daughter relationship at the end of the main story told…) Yasmins mother had a mixed marriage, and her also had a mixed marriage…thats if its the author..which I felt it was strongly.
9.Jack Briggs – ‘Jack and Zena’ (A rare book to find…but every bit a good read..again Im afraid it explains the harsh reality of honour crimes…its about a mixed relationship between a muslim girl and white british boyfriend…and her families threats of killing them after they ran away. Jack n Zena went into hiding for many years and had to have new identities and keep moving around to prevent being found out. Set in north Britain. Not a brilliant ending..a bit sad compared to other reads.) (And I believe they are sadly no longer together – B)
10.Saira Ahmed – ‘ Disgraced’ (Biography – This was a very unusual take of an asian womans journey with her family. Again around honour issues…and also prostitution. What it shows is a womans struggle for acceptance by her family through providing them huge sums of money over a many years…sad story, but probably more common than we might think. Again round forced marriage issues.
11.Shameem Ali – ‘ Belonging’ (This is an amazing book by a very brave woman who has played a part in raising the horror of child abuse and forced marriage…her history from a young age…it shows how the value of a woman can mean little to some , she was neglected and abused and yet so giving to so many ,and I felt she… if anyone ,had the right to write every bit of her amazing story…a good ending where she is able to make sense of what happened and what was needed to move on…much publicised in the press when this first came out. You can look on facebook for her website. She is protected and loved by her sons and her new husband.) Shameem is in the same faith/background marriage.
12.Ferzanna Riley – ‘Unbroken Spirit’ (True story again by a now female asian journalist. Ferzana’s father tried to kill her..part of me felt that this was around early childhood abuse continuing as well as child abuse around honour…not unlike Shameem Ali’s. Clearly honour was also used by her parents to justify what they did to her and her sister. Its a very moving book. There is lots online on this too. Again she was forced into a marriage . Based around the East midlands and north. Ferzana is in a mixed marriage now.
13.Souad – ‘Burnt Alive’ (True Story – A book given to me by a friend of MT! This story is different because it is from the middle east..but honour issues are exactly as in many other parts of the world. A very touching book…Yes..she was burnt by a member of her family for being suspected of a relationship. The lives of women is described in her part of the world, people caught between the fighting of the taliban and the again the worth of women and crimes to them is an eye opener.) Souad married her childhood sweetheart who was from a different background to hers I think.
14.Hannah Shah – ‘The Imam’s Daughter’ This is the true story of a young woman muslim woman who was sexually abused by her father, eventually escaped from all that she was put through,and found her freedom through the support of her college teacher,and became a christian relating her experiences to a dream she used to have after abuse, which comforted her. She was followed by her father who tried to kill her for apostacy.Her journey is amazing,she did the most amazing thing ..learnt to forgive despite all this..and supports victims and gives talks. There is a website too. Hannah has a mixed marriage.
15.Rana Husseini – ‘Murder in the Name of Honour’ (True story by ‘journalist, feminist and human rights defender’, cataloguing incidents of honour killing.B.)
16.Sita Lazenby – ‘The Honour Killings’ (Novel about girls threatened with forced marriage in India.)
17.Ayse Onal – ‘Honour Killing – Stories of Men Who Killed’ (True – based on interviews with imprisoned men in Turkey who killed mothers, sisters and daughters in the name of ‘honour’.B.)
18.Amir H. Jafri – ‘Honour Killing’ (“This book explores the various contexts in which men commit honour killings in Pakistan, and analyses the discourses that deal with it” – heavy going but good…B)
19.Norma Khouri – ‘Forbidden Love’ (Marketed as true but apparently later exposed as ‘made-up’, nonetheless, a good story about a Muslim girl falling in love with a Catholic man in Jordan. B.)
20.Tehmina Durrani – ‘My Feudal Lord’ (True story/autobiography of Pakistani woman’s marriage to a politician)
21.Leila – ‘Married by Force’ (“Leila was born and brought up in France by Moroccan-born parents. But her romantic dreams were shattered when she was forced by her father to marry a man she’d never met, fifteen years older than her, and whose language she couldn’t understand. The husband she didn’t love beat her regularly in an attempt to force her into submission. But, with extraordinary courage, Leila fought back against the weight of family tradition to regain her liberty and dignity; and though it put her life in danger, she left her husband and later divorced him.”)
22.Latifa – ‘My Forbidden Face’ (“A poignant account of the life of a teenage Afghani girl under the rule of the Taliban. Latifa’s school was closed down, she was forced to wear a chadri and the simplest, most basic freedoms were denied to her.”)
23.Saira Bronson – ‘Breaking Free’ (True story / autobiography – Muslim woman marries convicted prisoner…)
24. Kiranjeet Ahluwalia..’.Provoked’…This is a book about a woman who faced horrendous domestic violence from her husband.. and How she came through..It was made into a film..starring Aishwarai Rai. ( Now by the surname Bhachan)
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