- Author Bio
“I felt connected to the street girls, as if our silent smiles spoke a thousand words between us.”
Sometimes painful and at other times shocking, the stories in On the Edge of Being are still hopeful. The world that Afghan women inhabit in this memoir illuminates the split between body and voice — a split that has wrought a devastating impact on the women of Afghanistan.
The daughter of a progressive Afghan governor, Sharifa Sharif observes from an early age that life for women — both within and beyond the walls of their homes — is neither simple nor fair. As she navigates the rocky terrain of what it means to be a woman in Afghan society, Sharif candidly connects her own troubling experiences with those of girls and women around her: those who appeal to her father for justice, those who work as servants in her friends’ homes, and those of her own mother, whose inability to alter the restrictions in her own life evokes both anger and empathy.
From her childhood travels through the poorest provinces in Afghanistan to life as a schoolteacher and an immigrant student in North America, Sharifa strives to define her identity through her experiences of marginality — and learns to reclaim her body and herself.