Open My Eyes, released March 2017, Pinter and Martin.
(first published in Roads and Kingdoms, Feb.2019) The tower blocks by Hamid Olimjon Photo credit: Alice Allan Two thousand years ago, Indian spice merchants and Chinese silk-sellers passed through Tashkent’s famous bazaars—at the meeting point of the Silk Roads—on their way to Europe. Uzbekistan, a predominantly Muslim nation, has a diverse cultural heritage, and Tashkent is […]Read Post ›
Open My Eyes has been short-listed for The People’s Prize. If you’ve enjoyed the book, please vote for it in April…more details to follow! Thank you!
Any writer will tell you that the main components of fiction are experience, observation and imagination. But sometimes, particularly when the impetus to write comes from powerful personal experience, experience that, it seems, must be honoured, imagination can have a hard time freeing itself from the shackles of ‘what was’. For me, the question that […]Read Post ›
Heran Tadesse has the graceful confidence of someone who is used to being a muse. I first met her at a breastfeeding group I was running in Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa. She was hard to place; she has the strong nose and fine features of an Ethiopian, but back then she wore her hair in […]Read Post ›
Would you allow a stranger to cuddle your newborn baby? When babies come to soon, when they are sick and need to be in hospital, parents desperately want to be near them. In my work in hospitals in Ethiopia and the UK as a lactation consultant, I met mothers and fathers spending countless hours by […]Read Post ›
There’s a dark narrative that runs through women’s mothering stories, and it tells of the wolfish granny. She might sound like a figure from a fairy tale, but women in the mothers’ groups I’ve run in Ethiopia, Central Asia and the UK have told me that she’s alive and well. Among the kind, supportive, […]Read Post ›
I am writer…and a mother. Typically, the contents of my handbag include: keys, coins, lollipops, hair bands, plasters, umpteen pens (so that’s where they all end up), a small plastic person with his head missing, a sort of scurf of biscuit crumbs, a pebble and…a receipt with some precious words scribbled on the back. “Thunder […]Read Post ›