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Book: Butterflies by Zeena Nackerdien

Book: Butterflies by Zeena Nackerdien

categories: Book, Islam, South Africa, Relationships, Muslim, Paarl, Butterflies, Women's Fiction


Zeena Nackerdien

Author Zeena Nackerdienabout this book: Butterflies are often used as symbols of physical or spiritual transformation. At a time when women continue the quest for the Holy Grail of "equality," the prospect of such a transformation remains tantalizingly out of reach for the Muslim women that dominate these series of short stories set in Paarl, South Africa. Human nature, with its recognizable betrayals, love, hope and dreams play out against a complicated backdrop of once-segregated citizens having to learn to find common ground as one nation. An unseen narrator tells the story of Mrs. Bhopal, the trophy wife of one of the few rich men who chose to live in the colored neighborhood on the wrong side of the train tracks (for mysterious reasons). The conniving Mrs. Patel, gossiper-in-chief of the neighborhood, turns out to be the glue that holds the shattered pieces of the other characters' lives together. And young Sarah/Zuleikha illustrates what happens when a young girl suppresses her true nature to conform to societal expectations. Woven together, these stories of characters with lives as recognizable as our own, portray the Yin and Yang of human existence.

Additional notes: Although the topic might sound foreign to local ears, it was easy to write, as I am familiar with the neighborhoods in South Africa. I was inspired to write it to add to the growing collage of different voices that make up this wonderful patchwork quilt called America. I chose the cover to embody transformation and beauty inherent in developing an understanding of one another. Trying to introduce readers to an unfamiliar culture, without resorting to copious footnotes and glossaries, is never easy. If the only takeaway for the reader is not to stereotype individuals, because each person is unique, I will be happy.

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Other books by Zeena Nackerdien

The African Piper of Harlem by Zeena Nackerdien
Lethal Copycats by Zeena Nackerdien
American Voices by Zeena Nackerdien
The Heroine Next Door by Zeena Nackerdien

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