Public speaker Zaman debuts with the powerful account of how she grew from being a voiceless girl to a woman with a confident “roar.” Born in 1984 in Bangladesh to loving but mismatched parents (their marriage was arranged), Zaman became a rebellious, anorexic teen; attended Skidmore College; and, after graduation, moved to Manhattan to work as an actress. There she encountered an artistically invigorating but harsh world in which she was date-raped and later married an emotionally abusive man. Zaman can be very perceptive (“Sometimes death is the force that stuns us alive”); however, readers may recognize the red flags that she missed until too late—such as her husband demanding she change her dress and blot her makeup before going out. Zaman writes of her refusal to let abusive relationships alter her, choosing instead to listen to her inner voice that tells her, “All I need, I have.” She eventually divorces her husband and finds her inner strength, realizing that “what will always matter is the woman I am with or without him.” This lovely work of hope and resilience will resonate with women struggling to find their voice and place in the world. (Feb.)
"Zaman writes beautifully of the frustration and pain of being a woman in a man's world, an immigrant in a world suspicious of outsiders." —New York Times Book Review "Powerfully vulnerable and eloquent, Zaman’s voice is a fire—full-throated, wide-open, and roaring." —Letitia Montgomery-Rodgers, Foreword Reviews “Reema Zaman's keenly-felt, lyrically-written and artfully structured memoir, I Am Yours, joins a rare group of books that can lay claim to being ‘transformative'.... You feel empowered and awed by her strength; in full respect, all you want to do is wish her the limelight. Zaman has arrived.” —Chaya Bhuvaneswar, author of White Dancing Elephants
“Zaman archives a personal journey that’s intimate and attuned to a wider cultural moment. A staggering work filled with presence, I Am Yours provides a profound explanation of love, delivered as an act of witness. Powerfully vulnerable and eloquent, Zaman’s voice is a fire—full-throated, wide-open, and roaring.” —Foreword Reviews, starred review “Reema Zaman’s writing is a revelation and a revolution for women everywhere. Her lyrical prose introduces you to a world that every woman has lived in at some point in her life: one of doubt, and fear, and relentless questioning of yourself and everything you know, and then breaks it all open to create new possibilities and hope, firmly grounded in resilience. “ —Megan Kovacs, Director of Community Relations, Girls Inc. of the Pacific Northwest
"Reema Zaman's memoir portrays a beautiful, magical journey that is an inspiration to women everywhere. I Am Yours is a rare find that captures the true essence of being a female with flaws and imperfections... She is a born leader with much wisdom that is brilliantly enraptured and depicted in her self-inspired book of healing." —Trisha Sakhuja-Walia, CEO of BrownGirlMagazine.com
"The strength of the narrative portrays how a person who has contended with enormous tragedy can summon the resolve to confront and rise above it, and courageously share it with others... Memoir fans will appreciate Zaman’s journey." —Library Journal “Reema Zaman reveals a new way to write memoir—one that speaks back to trauma in her revolutionary style. I Am Yours has proved an essential guidebook for authors who wish to harness their internal witnesses and speak compassionately to themselves throughout the writing process.” —Brevity Magazine blog review
"In this candid book, Zaman not only celebrates her quest to define herself and her voice, but also to find health, self-love, and wholeness. An eloquently searching and intelligent memoir." —Kirkus Reviews
"When I heard Reema Zaman speak at a reading soon after the 2016 election, I thought, This is the soundtrack of a modern resistance.” —Guernica Magazine
"Tender, fierce, compassionate, and wise, Reema Zaman’s I Am Yours is a moving story about how one woman found her voice—and her power. I was enthralled by this beautiful book from the first page to the last." —Cheryl Strayed, New York Times bestselling author of Wild, Tiny Beautiful Things, and Torch "Reema teaches us a new way to think about self-love and self-care....She teaches us that something magical—perhaps revolutionary—happens when we engage in dialogue with ourselves: we close the hyphen between the self and something good." —Julie Moon, The Rumpus
"My heart just burst into a thousand songs after reading I Am Yours by Reema Zaman. From the first word to the last, this story is a phenomenal triumph of one woman's body and voice rising up and through a culture that would quiet her....A stunning debut." —Lidia Yuknavitch, bestselling author of The Misfit's Manifesto, The Chronology of Water, and The Book of Joan
“The lasting grace of I Am Yours resides in Zaman’s exquisite and lyrical voice, at once searing and tender, that bravely seeks to portray the timeless complexities of the female condition and speak truth to power.” —Ms.Magazine "There is an unwavering confidence to Zaman's prose. A pulse point, that calls to mind unflinching memorists that precede her. Melissa Febos and Cheryl Strayed." —Chicago Review of Books
“A healing book that lifts you up. One woman’s testimony and heart on the page. Reema Zaman’s grace is staggering and true. What a gift.” —Terese Mailhot, New York Times bestselling author of Heart Berries
“This book is a powerful portrait of Reema Zaman and her pursuit of empowering herself and others to heal from adversity and reclaim their own voice and bodies for themselves. Zaman’s resilience is undeniable, and her poetic and honest voice add to a deeply moving and unforgettable memoir.” —Nadya Okamoto, author of PERIOD: A Menstrual Movement, Founder of PERIOD
"My heart just burst into a thousand songs after reading I Am Yours by Reema Zaman. From the first word to the last, this story is phenomenal triumph of one woman's body and voice rising up and through a culture that would quiet her. Moving through experience and language without flinching, Reema reminds us that to have a body is to bring a soul to life. A stunning debut." -- Lidia Yuknavitch, author of The New York Times-bestelling The Book of Joan, The Small Backs of Children, and The Chronology of Water.
"A staggering work filled with presence, I Am Yours provides a profound explanation of love, delivered as an act of witness... Powerfully vulnerable and eloquent, Zaman’svoice is a firefull-throated, wide-open, and roaring."Foreword Reviews, Starred Review
Writer Zaman acknowledges in the beginning of this debut work that memoir is a truth based on what a person feels, and that the art of writing memoir can be difficult. Divided into four acts with simply titled chapters—"Feel," "Forgive," "Pause," "Listen"—the book describes the hardships the author has encountered, including anorexia and an abusive marriage. The volume is mostly organized chronologically, but some chapters travel back and forth through time to give readers an understanding of how past events contributed to Zaman's present circumstances. The strength of the narrative portrays how a person who has contended with enormous tragedy can summon the resolve to confront and rise above it, and courageously share it with others. VERDICT Memoir fans will appreciate Zaman's journey.—Susan E. Montgomery, Rollins Coll., Winter Park, FL
A Bangladesh-born author, actor, and speaker tells the story of her search for self-acceptance and a life lived across continents.
Zaman grew up watching her brilliant, college-educated mother fold in on herself "like an origami bird." Her father, a Zamindar from a politically prominent Bangladeshi family, expressed his love harshly and bullied her mother. He moved the family from Bangladesh to Hawaii and then Thailand in pursuit of his career with the United Nations. From him, the author learned that men dictated what women could and could not do. From a male cousin who went unpunished for trying to molest her, she learned that men could sexually abuse women and not face any consequences. Zaman eventually rebelled by cutting her hair short, becoming anorexic, and sleeping with men of her choosing. She left for college in the United States, studying theater and women's studies, and then went to New York with aspirations to become a stage actor. Meanwhile, her mother, who had procured a career of her own, divorced her father and remarried a man who respected her independence. The author married as well, but her husband was "unkind and often dangerous," just like most of her old lovers. She divorced him and began mending the difficult relationship she had with her father. Cautious of involvements, Zaman fell in love with a self-help guru who believed that an "alpha [male]" should never let a woman "feel too secure in his affections for her." After leaving him, the author went to Oregon to live with her mother and stepfather and "get myself sorted." Within the space of the loving family she never had, the author let go of her inner disciplinarian and began writing to understand—and ultimately release—the self who had been her "imaginary best friend." In this candid book, Zaman not only celebrates her quest to define herself and her voice, but also to find health, self-love, and wholeness.
An eloquently searching and intelligent memoir.