Meet Nadia Hashimi, author of The Pearl That Broke Its Shell and others on Saturday, August 24th at 7:00pm!
The Pearl That Broke Its Shell
“Nadia Hashimi has written, first and foremost, a tender and beautiful family story. Her always engaging multigenerational tale is a portrait of Afghanistan in all of its perplexing, enigmatic glory, and a mirror into the still ongoing struggles of Afghan women.” —Khaled Hosseini, author of And the Mountains Echoed and The Kite Runner
Kabul, 2007: The Taliban rules the streets. With a drug-addicted father and no brothers, Rahima and her sisters can rarely leave the house or attend school. Their only hope lies in the ancient Afghan custom of bacha posh, which allows young Rahima to dress and be treated as a son until she is of marriageable age. As a boy, she has the kind of freedom that was previously unimaginable . . . freedom that will transform her forever.
But Rahima is not the first in her family to adopt this unusual custom. A century earlier, her great-great-grandmother Shekiba, left orphaned by an epidemic, saved herself and built a new life in the same way—the change took her on a journey from the deprivation of life in a rural village to the opulence of a king’s palace in the bustling metropolis of Kabul.
Crisscrossing in time, The Pearl That Broke Its Shell interweaves the stories of these two remarkable women who are separated by a century but share the same courage and dreams. What will happen once Rahima is old enough to marry? How long can Shekiba pass as a man? And if Rahima cannot adapt to life as a bride, how will she survive?
From Nadia’s website
Nadia Hashimi was born and raised in New York and New Jersey. Both her parents were born in Afghanistan and left in the early 1970s, before the Soviet invasion. Her mother, granddaughter of a notable Afghan poet, traveled to Europe to obtain a Master’s degree in civil engineering and her father came to the United States, where he worked hard to fulfill his American dream and build a new, brighter life for his immediate and extended family. Nadia was fortunate to be surrounded by a large family of aunts, uncles and cousins, keeping the Afghan culture an integral part of their daily lives.
Nadia attended Brandeis University where she obtained degrees in Middle Eastern Studies and Biology. In 2002, she made her first trip to Afghanistan with her parents who had not returned to their homeland since leaving in the 1970s.
Nadia, while a medical student in Brooklyn, remained active as a community organizer for the Afghan-American community. She completed her pediatric training at NYU/Bellevue hospitals before moving to Maryland with her husband. She’s a “Lady Doc,” a network of female physicians who exercise, eat and blog together.
On days away from pediatrics, Nadia began cultivating stories. Her upbringing, experiences and love for reading came together in the novels based on the country of her parents and ancestors.
In 2018, she ran (unsuccessfully but cheerfully) for the congressional seat in her district as a democratic candidate, calling out the extensive "mansplaining" in healthcare.
She and her husband are the beaming parents of four curious, rock star children, two goldfish, a territorial African Grey parrot and a naughty Rhodesian Ridgeback.