The Adventures of Saheban is a complex fantasy realism book, connecting characters existing in four different time zones to SahebaN, the controversial protagonist. Named after SahebaN of the Punjabi folk story, ‘Mirza SahebaN’, our leading character becomes a Relentless Warrior, survivor of the systemic nature of sexism, exploitation, and racism.
Two critical events reveal the root of SahebaN’s war against oppression. Her mother, Jattee, is grief-stricken at the arrival of a precocious, infant daughter instead of a child with ‘pee-nuts,’ and as the doctor cuts the umbilical cord, SahebaN scratches his face. Already marked as a rebel, SahebaN is less than four-years old when she connects the mystery ‘pee-nuts,’ to the ‘hard thing’ she feels while being molested by a priest. The action she takes leads to being condemned as ‘the Spirit of Satan,’ and her father agrees to throw SahebaN and Jattee, his ‘female shit,’ out of the house.
In 1949, Simone de Beauvoir, author of The Second Sex, wrote: ‘All oppression creates a state of war, this is no exception.’ In The Adventures of SahebaN, Fauzia Rafique has taken the principle, weaving this fundamental truth through the lives of four women. SahebaN, heroine of a popular Pakistani folk story, rebels against her family, refusing an arranged marriage; SahebaN, the weaponless Warrior, rebels against a male-dominated society; Ego Feathers is forced to write SahebaN’s biography in secret code; and Fauzia, oppressed by rampant sexism in her native country, embarks on a new life in a different country, only to experience further oppression in the guise of racism, and economic disparity. Stumbling across SahebaN’s biography, Fauzia cracks Ego Feathers’s code, ultimately (and hopefully) freeing herself from the chains that have bound her existence.
The Adventures of SahebaN relentlessly probes the foundation of inequality as it spans across time, and different societies. Brutally honest, the disturbing and thought provoking nature of the material enveloped in compelling stories, draws the reader into a world often touched, but seldom revealed.
This book has the potential to reach a wide reader audience. As characters move, and develop through the stories, their experiences reveal deep bonds that people from every society, and from both genders, can identify with, and share.
Buy it here
The Adventures of SahebaN:
Biography of a Relentless Warrior
A novel by Fauzia Rafique
Mail out December 1st.
Libros Libertad 2016
Wendy Harris is a freelance writer/editor, graduating from the Print Futures: Professional Writing program. She was part of the 2004 Vancouver International Writers & Readers Festival Program editing team.