THE BOOK: Echoes from the Other Land.
PUBLISHED IN: 2010
THE AUTHOR: Ava Homa.
THE EDITOR: M.G. Vassangi
THE PUBLISHER: Mawenzi Press, Toronto, Canada (formerly known as TSAR)
AWARDS: Echoes from the Other Land was nominated for the 2011 Frank O’Connor International Award. The collection was also placed 6th in the top ten winners of the CBC Reader’s Choice Contest for Giller Prize.
SUMMARY: These haunting stories beautifully evoke the oppressive lives of modern women in the Islamic Republic of Iran. Anis, a computer programmer, is at the end of her rope, putting up with the bullying criticism of a no-good, unemployed lout of a husband; Azar is a young divorcee, and the only person she can talk to is Reza; but she can see him only late at night when “they” are not around; Sharmin has Down’s syndrome and hopelessly loves Azad; he loves Kazhal, beautiful and blessed; but Kazhal is married off and is divorced at twenty and now awaits a hopeless future . . . For these and other characters the weight of traditional attitudes, the harassment of the religious establishment make for a frustrating, confining, and sometimes unlivable existence. THE BACK STORY: I have been writing stories since I was in grade five but the ones that appear in this collection were written between 2005 and 2009. Luckily the first publisher I approached accepted my submission and published my book in 2010.
WHY THIS TITLE? Even though women of the Middle East are often othered in Western media, their emotions and desires are very similar to that of Western women. I wanted my audience to hear an echo from a stranged land.
WHY SOMEONE WOULD WANT TO READ IT: To be entertained while gaining some insight into the lives of real people who happened to be born in Iran.
“Ranging across regions, ethnicities, genders, sexualities and political dispositions, Homa’s characters give us a prismatic portrait of Iran that resists both internal tyrannies and Western demonization. Her style is elegantly spare, gem-solid. This is a voice we all need to hear. Ava Homa is Canada’s exquisite answer to Raymond Carver. “ Susan Holbrook, author of Joy Is So Exhausting
“Homa announces new beginnings— less irony, more hope—and from a breathtakingly multicultural and international perspective. Readers will experience awe and beauty at the force of Homa’s art to convey female Iranian protagonists wholeheartedly grasping their lives. A taut and subtle plain-spokenness enlivens her writing, belying rich dramatic tensions that build just beneath the surface—which will surprise readers and then captivate them.” —Louis Cabri, author of The Mood Embosser
“Homa uses very tight, descriptive prose that takes us right into the moment of the story. She describes sights, smells, textures and sounds, as well as emotions, disagreements and passions that cut deeply to the heart of knowing her characters from the inside. She does this with an almost painful honesty, a striking truth and vulnerability that cannot be dismissed or ignored.” —Black Coffee Poet.
“Subtle and powerful, haunting the reader with the silence between the words.” —Carole Giangrande, The Thoughtful Blogger.
AUTHOR PROFILE: Ava Homa is a writer, freelance journalist, editor, teacher, and translator. Born and raised in the Kurdish region of Iran, Homa earned a Master’s degree in English and Creative Writing at the University of Windsor and works as an instructor at George Brown College in Toronto. Her writings have appeared in numerous periodicals including The Toronto Quarterly, Windsor Review, the Toronto Star, Literary Review of Canada, and Rabble. She loves outdoor activities, dancing, photography, and just being in the nature. To learn more please visit http://www.AvaHoma.com
AUTHOR COMMENTS: “Life in a strictly patriarchal culture can be suffocating but so is being misrepresented in the national and international media. Kurdish and Iranian women are more than just victims. I wanted to portray an in-depth and honest image.”
SAMPLE CHAPTER: http://www.avahoma.com/excerpt.html
LOCAL OUTLETS: You can order it through your local bookstore. WHERE ELSE TO BUY IT: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Chapter (Indigo) http://www.amazon.com/Echoes-Other-Land-Ava-Homa-ebook/dp/B007SXPLGA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1435095273&sr=8-1&keywords=Echoes+from+the+Other+Land
PRICE: $8.11 Kindle and $19.95 paperback.