“Exquisitely woven.” Leila Aboulela
The Cry of the Dove
978-0-8021-7040-8 • $14.00 • Paperback • Oct. 2007
The new novel from Jordanian-British writer and human rights activist Fadia Faqir is a gripping tale of forbidden love, violated honor, and exile.
Salma has committed a crime considered punishable by death among her Bedouin tribe of Hima in the Levant: she had sex out of wedlock and became pregnant. Despite the danger it would pull into her life and the insult it would commit against her people, Salma has the illegitimate child and suddenly finds herself a fugitive on the run from those seeking to restore their honor.
Salma is placed in protective custody but relief suddenly turns to panic when her newborn child is ripped from her arms upon arrival. Devastated and disowned, Salma sits alone in custody for years in Hima before she is ushered to safety in Exeter, England. Away from the colors and smells of her Bedouin village, Salma is culturally dispossessed. As an asylum seeker trying to melt into the crowd, she finds herself on the other side, under pressure to reassess her values and etiquette. She learns the ways of the English from her elderly landlady and befriends a fiery Pakistani girl who is on the run from an arranged marriage, with whose help Salma is finally able to forge a new identity.
But just as she settles into her new life, the need to return for her lost daughter overwhelms her, and one fateful day, Salma goes back to her village to find the girl. It is a journey that risks everything.
A timely and lyrical novel, The Cry of the Dove is the story of one young woman and an evocative portrait of a culture whose reverberations are felt profoundly in our world today.