The unforgettable, haunting story of a young woman’s perilous fight for freedom and justice for her brother, in the first novel published in English by a female Kurdish writer
Set in Iran, this extraordinary debut novel takes readers into the everyday lives of the Kurds. Leila dreams of making films to bring the suppressed stories of her people onto the global stage, but obstacles keep piling up. Leila’s younger brother, Chia, influenced by their father’s past torture and imprisonment, and his own deep-seated desire for justice, begins to engage with social and political affairs. But his activism grows increasingly risky, and one day he disappears in Tehran. Seeking answers about her brother’s whereabouts and fearing the worst, Leila begins a campaign to save him. But when she publishes Chia’s writings online, she realizes that she too is in grave danger. A family friend with ties to Canada offers to help, but Leila must struggle to forgive him for his role in Chia’s disappearance.
Daughters of Smoke and Fire is an evocative portrait of the stakes faced by 40 million stateless Kurds. A powerful story that brilliantly illuminates the meaning of identity and the complex bonds of family, it is perfect for fans of Khaled Hosseini’s The Kite Runner, Rawi Hage's De Niro's Game and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Half of a Yellow Sun.
“This is a voice we all need to hear.”
“There is no more urgent a task for humanity than more fully knowing one another. In our time we are witnessing the betrayal of the Kurds. A betrayal that would not have happened if the world knew them as intimately as we know our own. This desperate gift is what comes our way from Ava Homa, a brave and brilliant storyteller, the first female Kurdish novelist writing in English who shows us, through one family’s story, the stakes faced by 40 million stateless Kurds. Read this book. Raise your voice. We can no longer afford the ‘us and them’ mentality.”
“At a time when the Kurds are so much in the news in Iraq and Syria, the Iranian government has erected a wall of silence around its own much larger Kurdish population. This magnificent novel penetrates that wall with its story of coming of age, oppression, and death. Beautifully written, it is the best new work of fiction to emerge from the Near East in a long time.”