Words in the Dust
Narrated by Ariani Delawari
Words in the Dust is about an Afghan girl named Zulaikha born with a cleft palate. Because of this defect, she feels worthless in a society that values women by marriage prospects. But then she meets a woman who teaches her to read and write, and an organization that would like to fix her cleft palate, and it stirs in her feelings of worth and hope.
There were many pieces of this audiobook, narrated by Delawari, that rang true. Zulaikha’s initial hesitation in her voice was logical with her cleft palate and protruding teeth, which made speech difficult. By contrast was her father’s second wife, Melichi, who always spoke in a very screechy, jarring voice. Zulaikha’s friend, the older professor, spoke in a whispery, scratchy voice indicative of an older person, which she was.
Zulaikha's love for her sister was so evident and spoken in such lovely tones. It made me realize how circumscribed the lives of these women are that they never mingled with many outside their own extended families.The culture of Afghanistan, with women in a place separate from the men and allowed to do very little outside their compound, was very revealingto me. I knew that women were considered less important, but I had never considered that the women, like Zulaikha, would think that was correct.With so much of Afghanistan in the news, especially with schooling for the women, this audio is very relevant.
Submitted by Lynn Carpenter
Five Points West Library