Choman Hardi’s Considering the Women explores the equivocal relationship between immigrants and their homeland – the constant push and pull – as well as the breakdown of an intermarriage, and the plight of women in an aggressive patriarchal society and as survivors of political violence. The book’s central sequence, Anfal, draws on Choman Hardi’s post-doctoral research on women survivors of genocide in Kurdistan. The stories of eleven survivors (nine women, an elderly man and a boy child) are framed by the radically shifting voice of the researcher: naive and matter-of-fact at the start; grieved, abstracted and confused by the end.
Knowledge has a noxious effect in this book, destroying the poet’s earlier optimistic sense of self and replacing it with a darker identity where she is ready for ‘all the good people in the world to disappoint her’. Choman Hardi’s second collection in English ends with a new beginning found in new love and in taking time off from the journey of traumatic discovery to enjoy the small, ordinary things of life. Poetry Book Society Recommendation.
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