Afghan-American Nadia Hashimi's literary debut novel is a searing tale of powerlessness, fate, and the freedom to control one's own fate that combines the cu. Read "The Pearl that Broke Its Shell A Novel" by Nadia Hashimi available from Rakuten Kobo. Sign up today and get $5 off your first purchase. Afghan-American . Read The Pearl that Broke Its Shell by Nadia Hashimi for free with a 30 day free trial. Read unlimited* books and audiobooks on the web, iPad, iPhone and.
|Language:||English, Spanish, Japanese|
|Genre:||Business & Career|
|ePub File Size:||19.36 MB|
|PDF File Size:||11.79 MB|
|Distribution:||Free* [*Regsitration Required]|
Shahzadi Sumra & Mehroz Taseer The Pearl that Broke its Shell () „western ethnocentrism‟ (Said ). Her is a well-read novel of Nadia Hashimi. download and read book online in pdf epub kindle. Read Online or Download The Pearl That Broke Its Shell by Nadia Hashimi Book For Free Hello fellow. This books (The Pearl That Broke Its Shell: A Novel [PDF]) Made by Nadia. Book details Author: Nadia Hashimi Pages: pages Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks Language: English ISBN ISBN If you want to download this book.
Before I read this book, I had read some reviews which had me wondering if this one would be something I'd like, reviews from people whose opinions I trust. Breaking the https: David Nicholls. It explores that the desire of freedom creates a close connection between two Afghan women belonging to different generations. Fine, Parwin.
She was masterful with pencil and paper. Graphite turned into visual energy in her hands. Wrinkled faces, an injured dog, a house too damaged to repair. She had a gift, an ability to show you what you did not see, even though your eyes graced the same sights as hers.
She could sketch a masterpiece in minutes but washing the dishes could take hours. Parwin is from another world, Madar- jan would say. She is a different kind of girl. What good is that going to do her? Someone had told Madar- jan she must have been lying on her side too much when she was pregnant. From the time Parwin started to crawl, it was obvious something was off.
Padar- jan had taken her to a doctor when she was five or six but they said it was too late. Then there was me. I suppose this was because it gave me opportunity to venture out on my own, without two older sisters to chastise me or insist I hold their hands as we crossed the street.
Finally, I had freedom—even more than my sisters! Madar- jan needed help with the errands and lately it was impossible to depend on Padar- jan for anything. She would ask him to pick up some things from the market on his way home and inevitably he would forget, then curse her for having an empty pantry. But if she went to the bazaar by herself, he went into an even worse rage. From time to time, Madar- jan asked the neighbors to pick up an item or two for her but she tried not to do that too often, knowing they already whispered about the peculiar way Padar- jan had of walking up and down our small street, his hands gesturing wildly as he explained something to the birds.
My sisters and I wondered about his behavior too, but Madar- jan told us our father needed to take a special medicine and that was why he sometimes acted strangely. At home, I could not help but talk about my adventures in the outside world.
It bothered Shahla more than Parwin, who was content with her pencils and paper. I have a few coins. If you like, I could bring you some, Shahla. Shahla sighed and shifted Sitara from one hip to another. She looked like a young exasperated mother. Forget it. Just go and finish the chores, Rahima. In no rush to come home, I bet. I go and do the errands that Madar- jan tells me to do.
But never mind. If I had a little more tact, I would have found another way to express myself. Maybe there was a higher purpose to my insensitivity. Madar- jan was closer to her than anyone else in her family and we saw her often. Had we not grown up around her, we probably would have been frightened by her appearance.
Khala Shaima was born with a crooked spine that wiggled through her back like a snake. Although our grandparents had hoped to find a suitor before her shape became too obvious, she was passed over time and again.
Families would come to ask about my mother or Khala Zeba, the youngest of the sisters, but no one wanted Khala Shaima with her hunched back and one raised shoulder. She let her eyebrows grow in, left those few stray chin hairs and dressed in the same drab clothing day in and day out. Instead, she focused her energies on her nieces and nephews and taking care of my grandparents as they aged.
She was a safety net for anything our parents might not have been able to do for us and she was one of the few people who could stand being around Padar- jan.
But you had to know Khala Shaima to get her. I mean to really get her. She was good to us girls and always came with candy-laden pockets. Padar- jan would comment snidely that her pockets were the only sweet thing about Khala Shaima.
My sisters and I would feign patience while we waited for the rustle of chocolate wrappers. When she arrived, I had just returned from the market, and in plenty of time to get my share of the sweets. Where are you getting chocolates like these from these days!
That was another thing about Khala Shaima. Everyone used those old Afghan proverbs, but Khala Shaima could hardly speak without them. It made conversations with her as circuitous as her spine. No, Khala Shaima. Did a dog bark at them in the street? No, Shaima. You know how boys can be. And, well, their father is just not happy to send them out so they can be toyed with by the neighborhood boys.
Too soon? How about too late! There will always be idiots in the street saying all kinds of things and giving all kinds of looks. You can believe that. Sister, I thought more of you. Madar- jan huffed in frustration and rubbed her temples. Then you stay here till Arif gets home and you tell him yourself what you think we should do! Did I say I was leaving?
Khala Shaima said coolly. She propped a pillow behind her uneven back and leaned against the wall. We braced ourselves. You never went to school and see how well you turned out, Padar- jan said facetiously. Instead, he took some general classes for one semester and then dropped out to start working.
He had a shop now where he fixed old electronics, and though he was pretty good at what he did, he was still bitter about not making it as an engineer, a highly regarded title for Afghans.
Damn you, Shaima! Get out of my house! Well, this cripple has an idea that may solve your problem—let you keep your precious pride while the girls can get back into school. Where the hell is my food? What is your idea, Shaima? Madar- jan jumped in, eager to hear what she had to say. She did respect her sister, ultimately. More often than not, Shaima was right. She hurriedly fixed a plate of food and brought it over to Padar- jan, who was now staring out the window blankly.
The king. Padar- jan scoffed. Your stories get crazier every time you open your ugly mouth. Madar- jan looked away and sighed with disappointment. That we need a son? If your sister were a better wife, then maybe I would have one! She only started. That night Khala Shaima started a story of my great-great-grandmother Shekiba, a story that my sisters and I had never before heard. A story that transformed me. Who could have known that Shekiba would become the name she was given, a gift passed from one hand to another?
Shekiba was born at the turn of the twentieth century, in an Afghanistan eyed lasciviously by Russia and Britain. Each would take turns promising to protect the borders they had just invaded, like a pedophile who professes to love his victim. The borders between Afghanistan and India were drawn and redrawn from time to time, as if only penciled in.
People belonged to one country and then the other, nationalities changing as often as the direction of the wind. But the game was slowly coming to an end, the Afghan people ferociously resisting outside control. Chests expanded with pride when Afghans talked about their resilience. But parts of Afghanistan were taken—little by little until its borders shrank in like a wool sweater left in the rain.
Areas to the north like Samarkand and Bukhara had been lost to the Russian Empire. Chunks of the south were chipped away and the western front was pushed in over the years.
In that way, Shekiba was Afghanistan. Beginning in her childhood, tragedy and malice chipped away at her until she was just a fragment of the person she should have been. If only Shekiba had been prettier, something at least pleasing for the eye to gaze upon.
Maybe then, her father could have hoped to arrange a proper marriage for her when her time came. Maybe people would have looked at her with an ounce of kindness. To get to Kabul, one had to ride one week, crossing a river and three mountains.
Most people spent their entire lives in the village, in the green fields surrounded by mountains, walking the dirt roads that connected one compound to another.
Their village was in a valley, dark soil nurtured by the nearby river and tall peaks giving a sense of enclosure, privacy. There were a few dozen clans, extended families who had known each other over generations. Most people were related to each other, somehow, and gossip was one way to keep busy.
Their family, like many others, lived off the land. His older brothers had married before him and filled the compound with their wives and children. Seeing there was no room for him and his new bride, Shafiqa, Ismail picked up his chisel and set to work.
He was lucky though, in that his father bequeathed him a lot with such fertile soil that his share of crops would be guaranteed. There were many hungry mouths to feed and a good yield could bring in extra income from the village. He had a gift. He knew just the right temperature at which to plant, how often to till the soil and the perfect amount of water to make crops grow. They pretended to prefer living in the main home. In the end, he surrounded the house with a wall of mud and stones to give it privacy, as a proper Afghan home needed.
Standing outside, she could see her in-laws coming and going from the house, their burqas blue spots on a khaki landscape. When the women headed in her direction she would hurry inside and cover herself, embarrassed that her belly was swollen with child. But Ismail Bardari was unlike some other men and stayed with the one wife he had, however his mother and sisters felt about her. Shafiqa watched over Shekiba and her little sister Aqela, nicknamed Bulbul because her light, melodic voice reminded Ismail of the local songbird.
The boys were well liked by their grandparents and valued as male heirs. The boys overheard many hateful comments but they knew better than to share everything they heard.
Sometimes, too close. A clumsy two-year-old Shekiba changed her life in the blink of an eye. She woke from a midmorning nap and set off to find her mother. Shekiba heard the familiar sounds of peeling in the kitchen and stumbled into the cooking niche.
Her small foot caught on the hem of her dress and her arm flailed into the air, knocking a pot of hot oil from a burner top before her mother could reach her.
The pain got worse as her skin fought to recover. The itching drove Shekiba mad and her mother was forced to wrap her hands in cloth, especially while she picked away at the dead, blackened skin.
Bobo Shahgul came to see Shekiba when she heard about the incident. Shafiqa anxiously waited to hear any helpful advice her mother-in-law might offer but Bobo Shahgul had none. Though her face healed, she was not the same. From then on, Shekiba was halved. When she laughed, only half her face laughed. When she cried, only half her face cried.
People who saw her profile from the right would begin to smile, but as their view turned the corner, beyond her nose, their own faces would change. Every reaction reminded Shekiba that she was ugly, a horror. Some people would step back and cover a gaping mouth with a hand. Others would dare to lean in, eyes squinted, to get a better look. From across the road, people would stop in their tracks and point. Did you see her? There goes the girl with half a face. God only knows what they did to deserve that.
Even her aunts and uncles would shake their heads and cluck their tongues every time they saw her, as if every time they were freshly disappointed and shocked to see what she looked like. Her cousins came up with twisted names for her. Babaloo, " or monster. That one she hated more than the others, since she too was afraid of the babaloo, the creature that frightened every Afghan child in the night.
She covered Shekiba with a burqa when she saw people approaching their home or on the rare occasion when the family ventured into the village. Remember, Shekiba means a gift. You are our gift, my daughter. No need to let others gawk at you. Shekiba knew she was horribly disfigured and that she was lucky to even be accepted by her immediate family. In the summers, the burqa was hot and stifling but she felt safer within it, protected. She was not exactly happy but was satisfied to stay in the house and out of sight.
Her days passed with fewer insults that way. Tariq and Munis were both energetic, and being just a year apart in age, they could pass for twins. When they were eight and nine, they were helping their father with the fieldwork and running errands in the village.
They usually ignored the comments they heard about their cursed sister but Tariq had been known to throw back insults from time to time. On one occasion, Munis came home with scattered bruises and a foul temper. They were happy keeping to themselves. In , a wave of cholera decimated Afghanistan. First Munis, then the others. The illness came quickly and it came strong. The smell was unbearable. Shekiba was stunned. Aqela was quiet, her songs reduced to a soft moan.
Shafiqa was frantic; Ismail quietly shook his head. Shekiba and her parents waited for their own bellies to begin cramping. They nervously cared for the others, watching each other and waiting to see who else would become ill. Munis was quiet and still. She was thirteen when she helped her parents wash and wrap Tariq, Munis and Aqela, the songbird, in white cloth, the traditional garb for the deceased.
Shekiba sniffled quietly, knowing she would be haunted by the memory of helping her moaning father to dig the graves for her teenage brothers and delicate Aqela, who had just turned ten. Shekiba and her parents were among the survivors. It was the first time in years that the clan made an appearance. Shekiba watched her uncles and their wives come in and out of the house, paying their obligatory respects before moving on to the next home grieving their dead.
Luckily, Shekiba was numb by then. One week after her three children were buried, Shafiqa began to whisper to herself when no one was looking. She asked Tariq to help her with the water pails. She warned Munis to eat all his food so that he would grow up to be as tall as his brother.
Then Shafiqa started sitting idly, plucking individual hairs from her head, one by one, until her scalp was bare; then her eyebrows and lashes disappeared.
With nothing left to pluck, she resorted to picking at the skin of her arms and legs. She ate her food but gagged on pieces that she had forgotten to chew.
Her whispers became louder and Shekiba and her father pretended not to notice. Sometimes she would listen and then giggle with a lightheartedness alien to their household. It came as no surprise. Madar- jan must have died looking at the face of God, Shekiba thought.
Nothing else could have brought the look of peace so quickly.
The house sighed in relief. Shekiba bathed her mother one last time, taking care to wash her bald head and realizing that her mother had even plucked the hairs from her womanly parts. The weight of sadness lifted. Her corpse was shockingly light. By the following day, Shekiba and her father were back in the field to open the earth once more. They did not bother to tell the rest of the family. Her father read a prayer over the mound of dirt and they looked at each other, quietly wondering which of them would join the others first.
Shekiba was left with her father. A cousin stopped by to tell them of an upcoming wedding and took back news of the new widower to the rest of the clan. They named a few families with eligible daughters in the village, most of them only a few years older than Shekiba, but her father was so heartbroken and fatigued that his family could not manage to arrange a new wife for him.
Shekiba came of age with only her father to turn to, his sparse words, his lonely eyes. She worked beside him day and night. The more she did, the easier it was for him to forget that she was a girl.
The village chattered about them. How could a father and daughter live alone? Sympathy gave way to criticism and Ismail and Shekiba grew even more distant from the outside world. The clan did not want to be associated with them and the village had no interest in a scarred old man and his even more scarred daughter-son. Over the years, Ismail lulled himself into believing that he had always lived without a wife and that he had always had only one child.
He managed by ignoring everything. When she bled every month, he pretended not to smell the soiled rags that she would keep soaking and hidden behind a stack of logs in their two-room home. And when he heard her shed tears, he shrugged her sniffles off as a touch of flu. She hoed, she slaughtered and she chopped as any strong-backed son would do for his father.
She made it possible for Ismail to go on believing that life had always been father and son. Her arms and shoulders knotted with muscle. Years passed.
There were days Shekiba was left to run the entire farm and house on her own. WordPress Shortcode. Published in: Full Name Comment goes here. Are you sure you want to Yes No. Be the first to like this. No Downloads. Views Total views. Actions Shares. Embeds 0 No embeds. No notes for slide. A Novel [PDF] 1. A Novel [PDF] 2. Book details Author: Nadia Hashimi Pages: William Morrow Paperbacks Language: English ISBN Description this book The entwined stories of two Afghan women separated by a century who find freedom in the tradition of bacha posh, which allows girls to dress and live as boys - until they are of marriageable age.
A Novel [PDF] The entwined stories of two Afghan women separated by a century who find freedom in the tradition of bacha posh, which allows girls to dress and live as boys - until they are of marriageable age. If you want to download this book, click link in the last page 5. You just clipped your first slide! Clipping is a handy way to collect important slides you want to go back to later. Now customize the name of a clipboard to store your clips.