MLA Platinum Award Press Release

Summary and book reviews of Daughters Of Smoke & Fire by Ava Homa

Daughters Of Smoke & Fire

A Novel

by Ava Homa

Daughters Of Smoke & Fire by Ava Homa X
Daughters Of Smoke & Fire by Ava Homa
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  • Published:
    May 2020, 320 pages

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Book Summary

The unforgettable, haunting story of a young woman's perilous fight for freedom and justice for her brother, 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, imprisonment, and his 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, Leila fears the worst and begins a campaign to save him. But when she publishes Chia's writings online, she finds herself in grave danger as well.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

Seattle Post Intelligencer
While this book about a Kurdish family in Iran, the story could be about any minority living under the rule of an oppressive majority demanding their assimilation. Homa has created a story that's both personal and universal in its scope. Daughters of Smoke and Fire might break your heart, but its also a book of sublime beauty that will engrave itself into your memory for years to come.

The Independent (UK)
A blisteringly powerful tale of standing up to oppression and terror ... [a] haunting novel.

Booklist
A coming-of-age story that layers intergenerational trauma and political commentary on a decades-long epic... . Homa's portrait of Kurdish life in Iran brings readers closer to lived experiences that force questions of identity, homeland, and the traumas we inherit.

Author Blurb Ambassador Peter W. Galbraith, author of The End of Iraq
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.

Author Blurb Joy Kogawa
There is no more urgent a task for humanity than more fully knowing one another...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 the Kurds. Read this book. Raise your voice. We can no longer afford the 'us and them' mentality if we are to survive.

Author Blurb Kevin McKiernan, author and award-winning documentary filmmaker of Good Kurds, Bad Kurds
Gripping...Daughters of Smoke and Fire is a haunting piece of political fiction and a gut-punch tale of an alienated Kurdish girl swimming upstream against a tide of sexism and ethnic hatred. The scars Homa bears as a Kurdish feminist reared under Iranian rule and living now in the 'cruelty of exile' are evident on every page.

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