U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Covid-19 Information Page
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Entertainment and Arts > Books
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
 
Old 09-09-2019, 05:22 PM
 
Location: New York Area
20,766 posts, read 8,086,981 times
Reputation: 15793

Advertisements

I just finished reading The Imam's Daughter by Hannah Shah.

The book is absolutely fantastic! The book is about a young girl from a Pakistani family in Britain. She escapes, literally, when she was 16. She learned she was about to be "packed off to Pakistan" to marry a distant cousin. The first two-thirds of the book reads like a real-life Stephen King novel; the world of some Muslim "families" is a dystopian world of violence and extreme sexual perversion. Love is replaced by domination and hatred. Contact with the outside world is kept strictly limited. Any violation of the strictures results in severe beatings, and sometimes rape. The subject of the book was regularly raped from age six until 16, when she fled.

Why did she flee? She fled from an arranged and forced marriage to a distant relative in Pakistan. Her family did not let her be. At one point her father located her. He headed up a 40 member gang of knife- and hammer-wielding assailants. I won't spoil how she avoided being killed (spoiler alert). But the world she fled to was infinitely kinder, more loving and fairer.

How to resolve doubts on the book's veracity? Does anyone know anything about this?

Every person described, including herself, has their name changed for obvious reasons. Same with the identity of municipalities. I hope that publishers do some fact checking. Same with the various media outlets that publish her and other accounts.

Thoughts? Answers?
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 09-09-2019, 05:38 PM
 
Location: Montreal -> CT -> MA -> Montreal -> Ottawa
17,336 posts, read 28,713,768 times
Reputation: 28730
I don't think that it can be 100% verified, 100% of the time. Anyone can write a book and call it a memoir, I suppose. Most memoirs start with a blurb that says something to the effect of "...as I can best recall." Sometimes they get caught for lying about it. Remember the James Frey scandal? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Frey I happen to love James Frey's writing, even after the scandal broke. It's a shame, though. He should have called his first two "memoirs" novels. I guess, though, that it has more impact if it's a memoir.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-09-2019, 05:49 PM
 
Location: New York Area
20,766 posts, read 8,086,981 times
Reputation: 15793
Quote:
Originally Posted by DawnMTL View Post
I don't think that it can be 100% verified, 100% of the time. Anyone can write a book and call it a memoir, I suppose. Most memoirs start with a blurb that says something to the effect of "...as I can best recall." Sometimes they get caught for lying about it. Remember the James Frey scandal? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Frey I happen to love James Frey's writing, even after the scandal broke. It's a shame, though. He should have called his first two "memoirs" novels. I guess, though, that it has more impact if it's a memoir.
In this case, the beginnings of her life, according to her book, were dystopian. I am pretty sure it's largely true but, how do you fact check in this case? If true, her being "outed" would speedily result in death.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-09-2019, 05:57 PM
 
Location: Montreal -> CT -> MA -> Montreal -> Ottawa
17,336 posts, read 28,713,768 times
Reputation: 28730
Quote:
Originally Posted by jbgusa View Post
In this case, the beginnings of her life, according to her book, were dystopian. I am pretty sure it's largely true but, how do you fact check in this case? If true, her being "outed" would speedily result in death.
This I don't know. I guess you have to choose either to believe or to disbelieve. Given my trusting nature, I'd give the benefit of the doubt unless I found documentation that clearly refuted it... not that I'd actively look for it, though.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-13-2019, 11:57 AM
 
Location: East Coast
3,857 posts, read 2,406,529 times
Reputation: 5894
Quote:
Originally Posted by DawnMTL View Post
This I don't know. I guess you have to choose either to believe or to disbelieve. Given my trusting nature, I'd give the benefit of the doubt unless I found documentation that clearly refuted it... not that I'd actively look for it, though.
I agree with Dawn. Memoir is the trickiest genre -- different people interpret and remember things differently. And there's always the self-interest motive of not wanting to include things that would make the author look bad or at fault, in many cases (not all cases, though -- some authors are very willing to admit things that they did that may have contributed to their situation or were not helpful to them). Unless someone else who experienced some of the same things the author did comes forward and rebuts things, or parts that were factual seem not to fit (like if they say they were in a certain location at a certain time at a certain date, but evidence turns up that they were actually somewhere else or it would have been impossible for them to have been at the location they claim they were).

I think major publishing houses do have editors and readers who look for these sorts of things, but again, unless something is obvious or would be known to lots of people outside the author's circle, it would be difficult to impossible to know if something was false. After publication, especially if a work is successful, someone will come forward to dispute it, but then you have to determine who is incorrect or untruthful.

If this was self-published or published by a very small publisher, then there would be fewer opportunities for fact checking.

I was so disappointed to learn of the issues with Three Cups of Tea. I had thought that was an amazing and wonderful book, and to learn that it contained apparent fabrications was very upsetting. It seems as if the fabrications were largely about minor things, or were more exaggerations (IIRC), but then you wonder, if they lie about things that are ultimately inconsequential, then how do you know what is true?

The book does sound interesting, though.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-14-2019, 03:00 PM
 
Location: New York Area
20,766 posts, read 8,086,981 times
Reputation: 15793
Quote:
Originally Posted by DawnMTL View Post
This I don't know. I guess you have to choose either to believe or to disbelieve. Given my trusting nature, I'd give the benefit of the doubt unless I found documentation that clearly refuted it... not that I'd actively look for it, though.
Instinctively I believe as well. The story by refugees from strict Islam are actually disturbingly similar; ones of violence, intimidation and ultimately flight.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Entertainment and Arts > Books
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:56 AM.

© 2005-2020, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Contact Us - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37 - Top