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When the plainclothes police officers appeared with a warrant for her arrest, Mayah assumed that her father — a powerful figure in Nairobi’s Indian business community — was attempting to frighten her.
What she didn’t realize was that her ordeal had only just begun.
That night, while her newlywed husband languished in a jail cell, she would be driven across the border at gunpoint, sedated, and locked in an empty room for days. She would be flown across the ocean in a drugged haze and awake in a walled compound in a remote corner of northern India. Later, she would swallow pills and bleed out the child she didn’t know she carried inside her. Mayah would remain a prisoner in her family’s home until she agreed to annul her marriage and wed a husband of their choosing.
WEDLOCKED: A Story of Forced Marriage uses the true tale of one woman’s experience to introduce readers to a pervasive practice that has only recently begun tiptoeing out of hushed living rooms and into the spotlight of public discourse. Many women who had been rendered silent, threatened by familial and community pressure to accept their fates without protest, have been stepping forward to speak out about the injustice of an institution that is only barely beginning to be understood in scope and severity.
Mayah’s story is just one of thousands. But it is hers. And by telling her tale — appalling in its violence, humbling in its magnitude, and ultimately redemptive in its humanity — forced marriage as an abstract concept can be rewritten. Mayah’s story is a pathway to make the intangible tangible; to color the statistics with a voice.
"...an absolutely fascinating story, based on a true history, that is by turns terrifying, uplifting, outraged, thought-provoking, and even at times lighthearted."
"By the end of the book, one understands that forced marriage is not just a problem suffered by exotic people in exotic places; it is omnipresent. Most important, one lives through the whole experience with Mayah and emerges with a different sort of knowledge: a knowledge of the heart."
Hannah Rubenstein is a writer and editor whose passion lies in exploring the complex terrain where ideas of culture and human rights overlap.
Her articles have appeared in the New York Times, The Washington Post, Slate, NPR, Reuters, India Times, USA Today, Truthout, TerraViva, The Global Report, Global Issues, The Daily Globe, and AllAfrica, among other publications.
For more, visit her website at http://www.hannahrubenstein.com/.
It’s Christmas Eve, and while Sara waits for her husband and son to arrive home to Blue Hydrangeas, their Cape Cod bed and breakfast, a blizzard threatens to close the bridges, stranding all travelers to and from the Cape. As she prepares for the holiday, a few unexpected visitors arrive at the inn, all sharing… [Read More]
Ten Thousand Tongues secrets of a layered kitchen Strong matriarchs in the author’s family are the inspiration for “Ten Thousand Tongues.” These are stories of perseverance, and of a deep-rooted appreciation of family legacies that inspire and shape reverence to one’s culinary heritage. “Ten Thousand Tongues” is a biographical fiction about eight women who find… [Read More]
It was a long and lonely trek through a howling blizzard! When Santa’s smallest elf feels left out of Santa’s busy Christmas preparations, he decides to run away from his first Christmas at Santa’s. As he heads out, Ralph struggles through a terrific snowstorm! This is the tale of the misadventures of Santa’s smallest elf… [Read More]
Two little girls pepper their father with questions about whether or not they can be a profession and still be a princess. Motivated by her granddaughter’s fascination with all things ‘princess,’ Carole P. Roman penned this adorable poem celebrating all the wonderful possibilities waiting ahead for them.
by Fiza Pathan
Amina: The Silent One brings vividly to life the grim realities facing women in India today, the grinding, filthy poverty, and debasement with which most Indian women must contend in their daily lives. This book will shock you and rip your eyes open. Through the magic of fiction, it tells an awful truth in human… [Read More]