Writing on My Forehead
By Nafisa Haji
(Hutchinson Radius, Hardcover, 9780091931001)
Publication Date: April 2009
A free-spirited and rebellious Muslim-American of Indo-Pakistani descent, willful, intelligent Saira Qader rejected the constricting notions of family, duty, obligation, and fate, choosing instead to become a journalist, making the world her home. But when tragedy strikes, throwing Saira's life into turmoil, the woman who circled the globe to uncover the details of other lives must confront the truths of her own. In need of understanding, she looks to the stories of those who came before--her grandparents, a beloved aunt, her mother and father. As Saira discovers the hope, pain, joy, and passion that defined their lives, she begins to face what she never wanted to admit: that choice is not always our own, and that faith is not merely an intellectual preference.
- On the husband-hunting journey to Pakistan, Saira's mother evokes the fatalistic notion of kismat or destiny and fortune. Discuss the ways in which her mother's efforts to find Saira a husband contradict this idea.