New Book: Girl Fighters: Break Tradition in Yemen
A tale of strife in Yemen, a novel by Carolyn Han
In traditional Yemeni society girls remain hidden behind walls, doors, and veils. Until the men in their family were killed in the war.
This historical anti-war novel introduces two girls who challenge tribal traditions vowing, against their personal losses, to “seek vengeance or be cursed.”
Dressing as men to fight in the 1960’s civil war, they pledge allegiance to their tribe and their Imam. They soon learn that war, for everyday people, does not bring peace, only chaos and poverty.
Girl Fighters introduces Yemen – one of the oldest inhabited regions in the world, still cloaked in mystery – through the eyes of two courageous Yemeni girls who are fighting for their lives, families, and culture.
“Han weaves a narrative so rich in emotional content and so vivid in imagery that it easily lends itself to cinematic production, something I would highly recommend.” ~Nabeel Khoury, retired diplomat, Deputy Chief of Missions, US Embassy, Sanaa 2004-2007
Carolyn Everett, later Han, started life in Los Angeles (born in 1941). Instead of attending college, she married young, moved to Malibu, raised three children then divorced. Reclaiming her life, in 1978 she moved to Kauai, attended college, and later earned a master’s degree in English from San Diego. In 1984, she moved to China, where she taught English in Chongqing and Yunnan and married a Chinese man, taking his name. Then, she lectured within the University of Hawaii system where she published three collections of Chinese folk tales and several children’s books.
In 2000, divorced again and ready for adventure, she moved to Yemen. Over the next eight years, she studied Arabic and trekked by camel across the Ramlat as-Sab’atayn (desert) as a lone woman with Bedouin guides. Living in Marib, a tribal area (once home to the legendary Queen of Sheba), she instructed doctors and midwives in English.
In Sana’a, she spent time writing and lecturing at the Lebanese University. Then she moved to Muscat, Oman, where she collected folk tales. In 2009, she moved to Cairo, where she wrote and taught at a Canadian college. Next, Kosovo and then Montenegro where she makes her home today.
“I have been a student of many cultures,” says Han. “I have allowed my life to unfold, trusting that I will receive the lessons I need, but not always those that I want. My journey is not over . . .”
Girl Fighters is available on Amazon, at bookstores, and from www.cunepress.com.
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