What a life! She didn’t like being here, and she didn’t like going there.
Mehar dreams of freedom and a life with her children. Asiya dreams of her daughter’s happiness. Sajida dreams of becoming a doctor. Subaida dreams of the day when her family will become free of woes. Parveen dreams of a little independence, a little space for herself in the world. Mothers, daughters, aunts, sisters, neighbours…
In this tiny Muslim village in Tamil Nadu, the lives of these women are sustained by the faith they have in themselves, in each other, and the everyday compromises they make. Salma’s storytelling – crystalline in its simplicity, patient in its unravelling – enters this interior world of women, held together by love, demarcated by religion, comforted by the courage in dreaming of better futures.
A beautiful novel by writer and activist Salma, translated from Tamil by Meena Kandasamy.
Winner of an English PEN award
Salma’s novel takes you into a world of women. It is writing that describes the inner universe of women who do not know the outside world. Salma deftly shows these women navigate their sad, emotional landscape, holding time in their hands, gradually stepping outside their sorrows. Everything here is fresh, including their feminine language. Traditionalist mindsets may not be taken in by this novel where stories emerge from under the blanket of tradition, revealing that a break with the old order is inevitable.’ – Perumal Murugan, author of One Part Woman and The Story of a Goat
‘Women Dreaming is an evocative double bill of fierce feminine landscapes with the iconic Salma’s searing narrative rendered in translucent English by the hugely gifted Meena Kandasamy.‘ – Namita Gokhale
Published 15/10/2020 in United Kingdom