news | Monday March 21, 2016

Read an interview with Rahat Kurd

Muslim Link, Ottawa’s online newspaper of the Muslim community, has published an interview with Rahat Kurd, poet and author of Cosmophilia.

Kurd will read from Cosmophilia at Ottawa’s Octopus Books on the evening of Tuesday, March 29. Don’t miss it! Event details are here.

A selection from the interview:

You reveal a lot about your family’s history and your personal history, including your divorce, in this collection. What advice would you give to aspiring Muslim women writers who wish to explore personal histories but also are concerned about how that may be perceived within their respective Muslim communities?

Reading what other Muslim women have written about their lives is the best, most direct way to find the necessar​y courage to write about yours​. Trace your lineage and you will find your voice.

I’ve read and re-read books by ​Muslim feminist scholar/writers for the past two decades. I find a tremendous sense of solidarity, warmth, comfort, and frankness in the pages of Marjane Satrapi, Azar Nafisi, Fatema Mernissi, and Leila Ahmed, all of whom have wonderfully and vividly described the realities of how they grew up, and the lives of women in their families and communities.

I urge young women in particular to read the memoirs of all the writers I’ve mentioned above, as they contain depths of insight and perspective that are simply not available in a 600—word confessional blog post written by your friends. […]

I have zero interest in claiming to be the first Muslim woman to write about anything or to have struggled against anything. This is very important. I see myself as contributing to, and hopefully expanding in some new directions, the body of literature which Muslim women have produced over centuries of struggle and perseverance.

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