“Faleeha Hassan, ‘the Maya Angelou of Iraq,’ wields a mighty pen.” ―Oprah.com
“Hassan renders her harrowing experiences in an authentic, heartfelt manner, offering important testimony of personal and national courage. A beautifully wrought memoir from a pioneering Iraqi author.” ―Kirkus, *Starred review
“[a] devastating and gorgeous work… Hassan’s intelligence and resilience combine to yield an incredibly powerful look at the ripple effects of warfare. Her poignant tale of survival is one that readers won’t soon forget.” ―Publishers Weekly
A nominee for both the Pulitzer and Pushcart Prizes, Faleeha Hassan is known the world over as “the Maya Angelou of Iraq,” her poems having been translated into twenty-one languages. Through verse, she was able to process the horrors of life during wartime; she was able to give voice to her faith, family and friends, and her hope for the future.
Now, in WAR AND ME: A Memoir (Amazon Crossing; August 1, 2022: $24.95), Faleeha Hassan has written a riveting, courageous coming-of-age story told through the lens of war. This is also a story about religion, education, politics, sexism, culture, love and loss.
Born in 1967 and during the Iraqi-Kuwaiti conflict, Faleeha Hassan was a vivacious, intelligent child. On her first day of middle school in Najaf, the government announced they would close schools for ten days, until “certain victory” over war with Iran was announced. “But the war did not end in 10 days,” Hassan remembers. “It lasted eight years, and all my friends were killed in the war or went missing in it.”
In WAR AND ME, readers learn the realities of war for innocent citizens: crushing poverty and starvation, constant danger and fear, job loss, severe lack of medical care, and loss of security and freedom. As a young woman, Faleeha hated seeing her father and brother go off to fight, and when she needed to reach them, she broke all the rules by traveling alone to the war’s front lines―just one of many shocking and moving examples of her resilient spirit.
Despite the many hardships, Faleeha was able to realize her father’s dream and become a teacher and also achieve her own dream of pursuing her studies at a university where she earned a master’s degree in Arabic literature. Later, after building a life in the US, she realizes that she will coexist with war for most of the years of her life and chooses to focus on education for herself and her children. In a world on fire, she finds courage, compassion, and a voice.
A testament to endurance and a window into puzzling aspects of life in the Middle East, Faleeha’s memoir also offers an intimate perspective on something wars can’t touch―the loving bonds of family.
Join us August 1 – August 25 for the virtual book tour on behalf of WAR AND ME as we share features, reviews, excerpts, and book giveaways:
Monday, August 1 – LILACS AND LITERATURE
Tuesday, August 2 – SUZY APPROVED BOOK REVIEWS
Wednesday, August 3 – MEL READS ALL THE THINGS
Thursday, August 4 – LITERARY QUICKSAND
Friday, August 5 – WHAT IS THAT BOOK ABOUT
Monday, August 8 – GLORIANA WONG
Tuesday, August 9 – ARMED WITH A BOOK
Wednesday, August 10 – TINA MAY READS
Thursday, August 11 – TOTAHLY BOOKED
Friday, August 12 – IT’S BIBLIOTHERAPY
Monday, August 15 — WE LOVE BIG BOOKS AND WE CANNOT LIE
Wednesday, August 17 — DANISH MUSTARD READS
Thursday, August 18 — HOT COCOA READS
Friday, August 19 – THE MADDIE HATTER
Monday, August 22 — SUE THE BOOKIE
Tuesday, August 23 — LADY BOOKETTE
Wednesday, August 24 — NURSE BOOKIE
Thursday, August 25 — JOH’S JOURNAL