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Books Of The Week - Saturday, 02 September 2023

Heart Tantrums: A Feminist's Memoir of Misogyny and Marriage
by - Aisha Sarwari

About the Book

In order to be able to survive, Aisha Sarwari was told, love and devoted acts of service will always light the way. These however, become the very reason of her complete unravelling.In this large and messy voice of a memoir, Heart Tantrums artfully describes the scatter of catastrophic losses-the loss of her father in early adolescence; leaving behind her family home in East Africa; and trying to fit into a completely different culture in Lahore after marriage. In 2017, when Aisha first held her husband Yasser Latif Hamdani's brain MRI against the light, she began to also lose the man she loved to a personality-altering brain tumour.Oscillating between being a good woman and a bad woman, Aisha has been adamant that the hard knocks of life would not define her. But even self-respect comes at a high price. The internal life of mental health chaos is like the very disease itself-degenerative. The book rejects the idea that love and domestic servitude saves the day.Pakistan, she never thought, could become like living in a state of self-exile for the couple that married for country-Aisha Sarwari, a proud Pakistani feminist and career professional, and Yasser Latif Hamdani, a human rights lawyer turned internationally acclaimed biographer of Pakistan's founding father, M.A. Jinnah. Often, they both failed to play for the team, but their fight for belonging was sometimes punctuated by the warmth of parenting and the joy of extraordinary friendships.This book is a prayer on a page, with this immigrant girl finding her way in the dark through a raw and magnificently well-told story of grief, hybrid identity, immigration woes, systemic family oppression, caregiver fatigue and, of course, what every good literature tries hard to hack-the terror of oblivion. 

About the Author
Aisha Sarwari is a public speaker, writer and women's rights advocate. She is the co-founder of Women's Advancement Hub. She has provided opinions for The Guardian, Dawn, BBC World, NPR, TRT World and The Express Tribune. Between San Jose and Islamabad, she has been working in the field of public affairs and communications for over 20 years across several industries.
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