P R E SS R E L E A S E
At the launch of Skeena in Surrey (Punjabi editions) and Vancouver (English edition) earlier this month, guest speakers said this:
‘You have written a first class novel about life for Muslim women in Pakistan, and later in a new land. You have given your readers an unprecedented view of life behind the veil as Skeena’s story unfolds. This beautifully crafted book made me sad, but it also made me smile. I am in awe of your talent. Skeena deserves to be a huge hit and if, or when, it does hit the best sellers list, I believe you could become a new literary star in Canada.’
National President, Canadian Authors Association (CAA)
Ajmer Rode, an accomplished BC Author and the 2011 winner of Anad Foundation International Poetry Prize, said that ‘Secularism is at the center of this novel’. He said that though he considers Salman Rushdie to be a great writer, a writer of unequaled imagination and a highly forceful expression, but in terms of challenging/confronting religion, he likes the subtlety of expression in Skeena.
‘This book tells us of the specificity of Pakistan, of being a woman in Pakistan,… But it also speaks to the most general features of the Human Condition. It is thus deeply particular, and deeply humanist, like all real works of art. And I think this is that, one that will not only make its mark in Punjabi—in India and in Pakistan and in Canada—but in its English form, in these countries and farther afield.’
Chair of Punjabi Language, Literature, and Sikh Studies, University of British Columbia (UBC)
‘In this post 911 world we need more work like this to help us all understand from the inside of people’s mental frameworks—how are we all similar as human beings and how do we differ? With CNN, CanWest Global and the most of the rabid anti-Islamic media telling us lies about how Muslims live, this kind of book speaks to us urgently about understanding, solidarity and building a better world.’
UBC, Medical School
‘In reality this novel is a political and revolutionary novel in it’s essence’
Poet/Author, Founder/Director of Punjabi Language Education Association (PLEA)
Skeena is the story of a Muslim Canadian woman spanning thirty years of her life where she explores her changing environments, religious and cultural influences, and intimate relationships. Told by Skeena herself, it is a rare glimpse into the mind and perspectives of a Muslim woman. With the utter simplicity of style and expression, and a plot immersed in gripping realities, Fauzia has created a novel that is hard to put down even when it explodes some deep-rooted myths.
Reviews and updates on Skeena
Fauzia Rafiq is a Vancouver-based South Asian Canadian writer of fiction and poetry. Her English and Punjabi writings have been published in Canada, Pakistan, and on the web. Print titles include the Punjabi publication of Skeena (Lahore 2007, Surrey 2011) and an anthology Aurat Durbar: The Court of Women: Writings by Women of South Asian Origin (Sumach Press, Toronto 1995). A selection of her English and Punjabi poetry, Passion-Fruit/Tahnget-Phal will be out 2011.
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