Mawenzi House Publishers Ltd. recently published three new books, all by women. The books show an emphasis on women’s voices and diversity of experiences.
Fire Walkers is a memoir by Bethlehem Terrefe Gebreyohannes, telling the true story of her family’s escape from Ethiopia in 1980. This story is about the endurance and courage of a family escaping to freedom against all odds. The story is one that many Canadians will identify with, having similar stories to tell and a story people the world over would acknowledge as a portrait of our times, when people from so many places run to seek safe havens.
Bethlehem Terrefe Gebreyohannes is a graduate of the University of Toronto and lives in Toronto with her family. She was born in Addis Ababa, a direct descendent of Emperor Menelik II and Haile Selassie. After her family’s escape and arrival in Canada in 1981, they settled first in Lethbridge, Alberta, where she finished high school.
Gugu Hlongwane’s Electric Fences is a collection of poignant short stories focusing on the lives of women in post-apartheid South Africa. The stories are set during and post apartheid, depict the lives of South African black women. The series of stories are a moving collection.
Gugu Hlongwane was born and raised in South Africa. She went to university in South Africa, the US, and Canada (Guelph and York), where she did her PhD. She now teaches at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, NS. This is her first work of fiction.
The Muslimah Who Fell to Earth, edited by Saima S Hussain is a collection of personal essays by Canadian Muslim women on various topics, including an account from Zunera Ishaq, who successfully challenged the Harper government in court on the issue of niqab. The stories reveal the Muslim woman in all her manifestations, and easily fly in the face of prejudice, misconceptions, and stereotypes. They reveal in unique ways what it means to them to be a Muslim woman (a “Muslimah”).