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Beyond The Cayenne Wall
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Beyond The Cayenne Wall

4.8 9
by Shaila M Abdullah
 
'Abdullah takes us into the hearts and minds, realities and yearnings, and daily existence of women young and aged in and from South Asia. Her stunningly beautiful prose and elegant iridescent descriptions of the land that these women love is juxtaposed with the brutality and coarseness of their everyday existence."

-Dr. Shirley Hord, author of Implementing

Overview

'Abdullah takes us into the hearts and minds, realities and yearnings, and daily existence of women young and aged in and from South Asia. Her stunningly beautiful prose and elegant iridescent descriptions of the land that these women love is juxtaposed with the brutality and coarseness of their everyday existence."

-Dr. Shirley Hord, author of Implementing Change

Beyond the Cayenne Wall captures the cultural chasm-and sometimes the collision between the East and the West-as the characters struggle to find their individualities despite the barriers imposed by society. Tannu refuses to give up her firstborn to the caretakers of the shrine of Shah Daullah as tradition dictates. Dhool is a defiant, spirited woman who confronts the five mistakes in her life and ventures out among the wolves in human clothing to make ends meet. In a striking account of alienation and the clash of two worlds, Mansi faces some tough choices when she brings her widowed mother back with her to live in the United States.

In these and several other stories, Abdullah weaves together a collection of events that spin around betrayals, confessions, acceptance, and denial, shaken in with exotic spices and flavor, a potpourri for the senses.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780595370092
Publisher:
iUniverse, Incorporated
Publication date:
10/17/2005
Pages:
116
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.28(d)

What People are Saying About This

Shirley Hord
"Abdullah takes us into the hearts and minds, realities and yearnings, and daily existence of women young and aged in and from South Asia. Her stunningly beautiful prose and elegant iridescent descriptions of the land that these women love is juxtaposed with the brutality and coarseness of their everyday existence."
author of Implementing Change

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Beyond the Cayenne Wall 4.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
I haven't yet read this book but I am going to and also I think that this is a phenomonal book. I really am looking forward to reading this book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The really remarkable thing about Shaila Abdullah¿s Beyond the Cayenne Wall is that it is not depressingly boring to a reader unaccustomed to the subject matter. The book showcases seven, obviously sad, poignant stories about Pakistani women contained within its covers. On the contrary, you will be sucked into each tale of woe with little delay. The author has created fictional stories based on real-life personal experiences with which she is familiar. I found it difficult to choose a best or a worst of the seven stories. The quality of the composition and the intimacy of the subject matter are consistent throughout. The proofreading could have been more effective, especially for such a short book, and this keeps it out of the five-star category, but only by a whisker. Ms. Abdullah knows her subject and her careful research is evident in the details expressed about life in such a foreign place. The author offers a clear description of the stark contrast between life in Karachi, Pakistan, versus that in California and her own Austin, Texas. Take the journey with Shaila Abdullah to a land and culture far from our familiar territory. I am sure you will be pleasantly surprised.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Beyond The Cayenne Wall tells 7 short stories of women we think we've seen, but never really heard about. Shaila Abdullah introduces us to Pakistani society on a number of levels. She tells stories about urban women, rural women, pampered women, hardscrabble women, educated women. Ms. Abdullah uses simple but powerful imagery interspersed with Urdu to generate the inclusive quality of ¿being there¿. At the root of the stories are the cultural burdens women bear. Although the setting appears exclusively eastern, oddly enough, the struggles, disappointments, joys, and sorrows of these women transcend borders. Pending marriage, difficult conception, in-laws, and tradition are issues we can all relate to, and doing so through the prism of eastern culture only makes us richer for it. I truly enjoyed this collection of short stories, and devoured them in one setting. Reading about the determination of Tannu, the fierce protectiveness of Dhool, the revelation of Minnah, the stoicism of Shiwali, the persistence and horrible discovery of Minal, the grief of Mansi, and the redemption of Nyassa brought all of this into sharp relief. In today¿s climate, we often see the eastern world against the backdrop of war and conflict. We never see the more mundane aspects of everyday life that fuel so much of the other. What I appreciated most was the view into everyday life that tends to be overshadowed and outright forgotten in today¿s political climate. Although the women are not always successful, they are always triumphant. Even when circumstance conspires against them, and fortune turns its back, each of these women demands and receives small victories. Be it the mockery of a quickly hidden glance, the silence of hidden passion, the damning knowledge of a bully¿s frailty, each story illustrates that sometimes the best part of victory is¿modesty. It has not been since college that I remembered reading about feminism around the world. Sometimes, it is very easy to believe that our kind of feminism is the only kind. Feminism isn¿t only about working outside the home and sitting in front of the classroom. Sometimes, its as much about what is still going on inside the home, and what kind of classroom. Sometimes it is about bouncing back as opposed to striking first. I think these stories make an excellent addition to any woman¿s library, and I heartily recommend them. Reviewed By: Angela Hailey, Black Butterfly Review
Guest More than 1 year ago
This collection of short stories is an eye opener. There is so little information that is available on women of Pakistan and this book has filled the void. Kudos to Shaila on producing an amazing book. The vivid scenes and the vibrant characters make this a fantastic read. Shaila has the skills to bring events to life.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Beyond the Cayenne Wall takes the reader to a foreign land, yet you walk on the familiar ground of the human condition and marvel at the resilience of womankind. Long after you close each chapter, the wording and stories linger among your repertoire of feelings playing haunting and memorable melodies of souls in complexities. Poignant, yet a delighting read. You will be glad you went beyond the cayenne wall.
Guest More than 1 year ago
What a fantastic book! It opens a whole new world to someone who has not set foot outside this soil. The book has vivid character and scene descriptions that kept me glued to it. Congratulations to the author on a great book!
Guest More than 1 year ago
The author has a knack for creating main characters that the reader can connect to emotionally. These short stories are interesting and unique in their focus. We are introduced to a whole new world, new cultures, new paradigms. The women have universal struggles¿desire, poverty, abusive or neglectful husbands, overbearing families, difficult jobs¿yet are each unique and interesting.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Abdullah shares with us the stories of seven women native to South Asia. Except for one, all have marriages arranged by their parents for them. Happily, several of these arrangements work, while in others the women exist in cultural and religious prisons of the marriage. Poverty pervades the lives of two of them, while incest and sexual betrayal colors the existence of others. Several have found love and success in America in new lives, while yearning for the days and environments of their childhoods. Abdullah takes us into the hearts and minds, and daily existence of these women, young and aged. Her exquisite language, describing the native settings ¿ ¿the vegetable peddler with his shiny voluptuous crimson tomatoes,¿ ¿the sun . . . half-hidden by the neem tree in its path, shy as a new bride¿ ¿ are in stark contrast with the lives of several of these women. While one harbors a dreadful secret that she expects to ruin her life, another finds horror in the secret of her parentage. How these women cope, through hope, intelligence, and hard work, is the universal story of all humankind, and binds us globally together. The language purrs along, while the plots take their inexorable toll of the actors. The reader is treated to a rich mix of beautiful poetic prose sparkling with lovely phrases and iridescent descriptions of the land that these women love. The language adds immeasurably to the appeal of this manuscript. Beyond the Cayenne Walls is a must read for anyone hoping to gain insights into our global world and its geo-political regions.