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My Name Is Salma [Kindle Edition]

Fadia Faqir
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £9.99
Kindle Price: £6.99 includes VAT* & free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
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Book Description

When Salma becomes pregnant before marriage in her small village in the Levant, her innocent days playing the pipe for her goats are gone for ever. She is swept into prison for her own protection. To the sound of her screams, her newborn baby daughter is snatched away.

In the middle of the most English of towns, Exeter, she learns good manners from her landlady, and settles down with an Englishman. But deep in her heart the cries of her baby daughter still echo. When she can bear them no longer, she goes back to her village to find her. It is a journey that will change everything - and nothing.

Slipping back and forth between the olive groves of the Levant and the rain-slicked pavements of Exeter, My Name is Salma is a searing portrayal of a woman's courage in the face of insurmountable odds.

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Product Description


Told in the first person, the discontinuous narrative of Salma's life is as well constructed as a mosaic in which each tile is lovely in itself but helps to create a whole that is breathtaking. As Salma's life moves toward its inevitable climax, readers will be transfixed. Strongly recommended for all literary collections.
-- Andrea Kempf, The Library Journal

Book Description

As contemporary as today's headlines and as timeless as love and hate - a young Muslim asylum-seeker in England runs from a brother who wants to commit honour killing

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 768 KB
  • Print Length: 339 pages
  • Publisher: Transworld Digital (30 Mar. 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003IQ16CY
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #475,016 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Fadia Faqir is the author of four novels: Nisanit, Pillars of Salt, My Name is Salma and Willow Trees Don't Weep. She was born in Amman, Jordan, and moved to Britain in 1984. Her work was published in nineteen countries and translated into fifteen languages.In 1989, the University of East Anglia awarded her the first Ph.D. in Critical and Creative Writing.She currently holds a writing fellowship at St Aidan's College, Durham University, where she teaches creative writing.
She often writes on issues of gender, identity, and culture.
Faqir divides her time between Durham, London and Amman.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Honourable, but not quite fully-fledged 2 July 2010
By Sofia
First of all, if you have read the blurb on the inside of the dust jacket, you needn't read the book as this summarises the story completely, bar the action of the final page. It's a great shame that the publishers felt the need to do this as it detracts hugely from the narrative tension if 280 pages in, you still know what's coming up. Hopefully, the paperback edition will correct this.

"My Name is Salma" is a novel predominantly about women and the clash between the modern Western view of women's rights and the traditional honour-bound Bedouin value system. Set between the Levant and Exeter, the Salma of the title, is a young woman running for her life after becoming pregnant out of wedlock and dishonouring her family and her tribe. Through a series of under-explained events, Salma ends up in Exeter trying to forge a new life with a new identity.

Faqir wrestles with some big and noble themes here - women, feminism, sexism, migrant dislocation, racism, alcoholism, religious hypocrisy and identity to name but a few - and by blending real time with memory, she creates a woman who remains very much a prisoner of her past no matter how much physical distance she covers. All of this is interesting and adds to the literature that chronicles the immigrant experience. However, Faqir is so involved with her themes, with her downtrodden, Bedouin victim that she fails to create a genuinely coherent story. The action hops around between past and present but as the novel progresses, the leaps through time become increasingly erratic leaving significant events in Salma's life underdeveloped and under-explained. It feels as if Faqir became so involved in her portrait of the isolated broken woman that she lost interest in the story.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Love, loss and displacement 10 Mar. 2011
Although it is some time since I read this book, the character of Salma has stayed with me long after I closed the final page. Other reviewers have talked about the plot and potential weaknesses in the story but what predominantly has stayed with me is the irreparable damage done to Salma and the ripple effect of pain and sorrow that this causes.
The trauma of separation and divided loyalties that her mother had to live with, her own separation from her homeland and daughter and then the choice she feels compelled to make.
Throughout the book I questioned how rationally Salma was thinking (difficult no doubt given her situation)and this came to a crescendo towards the end of the book when she doesn't seem to be able to see the catastrophic effect her actions will have on John and Imran.
So it is not only Salma whose voice continues to haunt me but those too of Imran and John - all three of them victims to a circumstance outside of their control and caused by a system of 'honour codes' imposed by others.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Only women bleed - warning contains spoilers 8 Jun. 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This beautiful written and finely crafted work details the life of Salma, a Bedouin woman born into an extreme patriarchal society, where honour killings are the norm. When she commits the crime of not only falling in love, but also becoming pregnant outside of wedlock the man walks away scot free while she is forced to flee, initially to prison, the only real place of safety in order to have her child. Once she is born, her daughter is immediately taken from her. Salma though stays in prison for her own safety, eventually being forced again for her safety across the border to Lebanon and later to the UK, where she finds safety in a hostel for other women fleeing for various reasons.

There she befriends Parvin, a Pakistani woman fleeing for different and yet similar reasons, for both are borne from the idea that men can do with women as they please - in Parvin's case, the threat of an arranged marriage. The two women forge an immediate bond as Parvin helps Salma to find her feet in this alien new land, so different to what she has known.

The sense of guilt and conflict though never goes away - Salma believes on some deep level that she is a damaged woman who has brought her troubles on herself and attempts to prove this to herself by sleeping with a myriad of strange men. She also attempts to rectify her wickedness by helping her alcoholic landlady, refusing to press charges even when she is drunkenly attacked and needs stitches in her arm.

Although she does eventually find happiness with her University Professor and the birth of their own son, Salma is haunted by dreams of her lost daughter and desperate to go back.
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