The SOAS Centre for Gender Studies and the Directors of Quercus

are delighted to invite you to the launch of


by Fadia Faqir

Tuesday 25 March, 7-9 p.m.


ĎA compelling narrative . . . negotiates the minefields of family, politics and religion fearlessly but with a delicate touch. í Janet Davey



Najwaís feels nothing but hatred for her father, who abandoned the family when she was three years old. Now, following her motherís death, she cannot live on her own in a conservative society.  So, she must find her father.  Her journey takes her through new dangers as she is taken by a mysterious organisation to Pakistan and from there to a hideout in the mountains of Afghanistan.


Her father, a doctor, set out all those years ago to support a childhood friend, but what he encounters transforms his life forever.  Najwa has no choice, but to trace his footsteps, a quest that takes her to four countries and two continents all the way to the west. She oscillates between her motherís secularism and her fatherís certainty. Transformed by her search and the heartbreaking secrets it reveals, she contemplates abandoning her goal, but anger and resentment propel her forward. Piecing together the events that led to his departure, she begins to doubt everything. Should she seek revenge or forgive her father?


Fadia Faqir is a writer of immense strength and ambition. In her fourth novel she casts her imagination far and wide, through time and across continents, to help us understand global tensions and explore the horrors and the glimpses of solace of our troubled times. She explores the ways the worldís tragedies shape one another, how people try to avoid being crushed by conflict, whether public or personal, find beauty among the ruins and assert their humanity.


Fadia Faqir is the author of four novels: NisanitPillars of Salt, My Name is Salmaand Willow Trees Donít Weep. Born in Amman, Jordan, she moved to Britain in 1984. Her work has been published in nineteen countries and translated into fifteen languages. In 1989, the University of East Anglia awarded her the first PhD in Critical and Creative Writing.  She currently holds a writing fellowship at St Aidanís College, Durham University, where she teaches creative writing.  She often writes on issues of gender, identity, and culture.  She divides her time between Durham, London and Amman.


WILLOW TREES DONíT WEEP by Fadia Faqir is published by Heron Books, an imprint of Quercus, paperback £7.99


SOAS, Khalili Lecture Theatre, main building

University of London, Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square WC1H 0XG