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My Pen Is the Wing of a Bird


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About the Author

Lyse Doucet is the BBC's Chief International Correspondent and a senior presenter with BBC World News television and BBC World Service radio. She is regularly deployed to present special news coverage from the field and report across the BBC's domestic and global outlets. Lyse spent fifteen years as a BBC foreign correspondent with postings in the Middle East, West Asia and West Africa. She has been reporting from Afghanistan since 1988 when she lived in Kabul and has been a frequent visitor ever since. Lyse was nominated to the Order of Canada in 2018 and received an OBE in the Queen's Honours list in 2014 for her services to broadcasting. Lucy Hannah specialises in setting up and delivering creative initiatives. She is founder and director of Untold Narratives CIC. She's also a Visiting Research Fellow at King's College, London, and a Director of the BOCAS Lit Fest in Trinidad.


A precious collection of work, the first and maybe last of its kind. My Pen Is the Wing of a Bird is a huge accomplishment -- Monique Roffey * author of THE MERMAID OF BLACK CONCH *
Powerful, profound and deeply moving, new fiction by Afghan women writers will expand your mind and elevate your heart -- Elif Shafak
No-one aware of the harrowing events currently playing out in Afghanistan and, in particular, the catastrophic effect this has had on the lives of women, can be unmoved by their plight. The risk of womens' voices being lost and their freedoms eradicated is very high. This book is like a little light shining into the lives of women in Afghanistan. It's a beautiful read -- Jo Brand
Sometimes, life is having beautiful dreams in a nightmare. The authors of this book express their longing to escape a nightmare and build a liveable world. A liveable world for everyone, but especially for women at a time when their body and soul are being destroyed -- Burhan Sonmez * President of PEN International *
Here we have stories of the everyday and extraordinary lives of Afghan women, all of them written before the Taliban took power in August 2021. Today, these women writers live under the harshest of conditions, their everyday human rights, as women, revoked. This book is a precious collection of work, the first and maybe last of its kind. My Pen is the Wing of a Bird is a huge accomplishment -- Monique Roffey
These are extraordinary and intense glimpses into a shuttered world, written by women who have to struggle daily to make their voices heard -- Lissa Evans
If fiction offers a window into the world, this is a book of stories you need to open -- Romesh Gunasekera
[An] arresting collection . . . Each of the works in this collection is written in simple, direct prose and offers vivid snapshots of a country beset by war and violence, where misogyny is rife but women continue to dream for a better future . . . The women's extraordinary resilience is celebrated . . . It seems more important than ever to read the work of these courageous writers. -- Lucy Popescu * Financial Times *
A gripping and important book told by the women whose voices need to be heard * Bella Magazine *
These stories show why the militants are wrong. They take their readers into rooms at televisions cameras and journalists never reach. In the process they reiterate how much Afghan women could again say and do, if only they were allowed to. * Economist *
The pandemic and the resumption of Taliban rule have made the publication of My Pen Is the Wing of a Bird little short of a miracle . . . [T]hese short tales draw insight and lyricism from lives lived in the shadow of war, violence and relentless misogyny -- Cameron Woodhead * Sydney Morning Herald *
Powerful in its impact and admirable in the quality of the prose -- Ellah Wakatama * Guardian *
Revelatory . . . taken together [these stories] form a remarkable portrait of lives largely invisible to readers outside Afghanistan. This brims with humanity. * Publishers Weekly *
Beautifully written and translated, these stories are gripping, insightful, often shocking, intense and extraordinary * The Lady *

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