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Cover for The Monsoon War

The Monsoon War

A Novel

Bina Shah


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The Monsoon War revisits the futuristic country of Before She Sleeps, where government leaders maintain a stranglehold over women's freedom and reproductive lives. In a neglected southern province, a female armed resistance bands together as the Hamiyat, the protectors of those who are too weak to withstand. Now, they plan a courageous attack on the perpetrators of this regime that will free them from its tyranny forever.

Alia Musa is the wife of three husbands in a remote mountain village of Dhofar. When her youngest child, Noor, discovers a group of women who have escaped the regime to take refuge on the mountain, Alia must leave her home, join the Hamiyat resistance, and find out just how far she is willing to go for the daughters she loves, the husband she adores, and the mountain that she calls home.

As a promising young soldier in the Hamiyat, Katy Azadeh has found family and home in the resistance. Kidnapped during an unexpected skirmish and taken from the mountains, Katy is seduced by the ways of wealthy neighboring Eastern Semitia. Despite their veiled promises, Katy must find her way back to the Hamiyat to face the war that threatens their very existence.

Commander Fatima Kara is a veteran of the Hamiyat, leading her women to protect the women of the mountain villages from the government agents and the abuses of polygamy. A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity from Eastern Semitia makes Fatima Kara gamble with the lives of her soldiers, to win the ultimate prize for them all—their freedom.

The Monsoon War is a near-future resistance novel that harnesses the powerful metaphor of women’s bodies as the battleground on which the wars of the future will be played out.

Praise For The Monsoon War: A Novel

“Shah’s novel is both explicitly connected to Atwood’s marvel [The Handmaid’s Tale] and working to expand it by imagining what a secular, Middle Eastern Gilead might look like…. One of the best books of the second half of 2018.” — The Millions

“Provocative.” —, one of the Best Books of the Summer

Before She Sleeps stands on its own as a novel that will have readers contemplating rebellion and revolt, sex and power, and the many ways women’s bodies are sacrificed for the good of society.” — Booklist

Delphinium, 9781953002235, 320pp.

Publication Date: May 16, 2023

About the Author

Bina Shah is a writer of English fiction and a journalist. She is the author of five novels and two collections of short stories, including Slum Child, which was a best seller in Italy. She was a regular contributor to the International New York Times from 2015-2018, and she is a provocative and bold commentator for the international press on Pakistan’s society, culture, and women’s rights. Her most recent novel, Before She Sleeps, originally published by Delphinium in 2018, has been published in Germany, Turkey, and India. She is a graduate of Wellesley College and the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and an alum of the International Writers Program at the University of Iowa. In 2021, she was awarded the rank of Chevalier in the Order of Arts and Letters by the French Government.