My post from last year about women's writing in Afghanistan got a lot of hits, so I decided to share this piece from The New York Times, about a women's poetry group in that same country:
Why Afghan Women Risk Death to Write Poetry
It's long, at six pages, but I read the whole thing, even with my short attention span. Once again, as I said with the last post, it's important to really think about things I take for granted, like being able to write whatever I want, and get as much education as I want, and even just go out in public alone. Not everyone is as lucky as I am, and it's good to remember that.
Also, I was struck with the resemblance between some of short poems the Afghan women recite and the poems from Veiled Sentiments: Honor and Poetry in a Bedouin Society which I read in a social anthropology class when I was at Harvard. (For the record, if you are interested in including something which resembles a Muslim society in a fantasy novel, please actually read books similar to Veiled Sentiments and get a sense of what life is actually like for people in such societies. No more generalizations based on television coverage -- I've seen enough of those.)