A Hero

By Charlotte Mendel

A Hero
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Mohammed is an aggressive, dominant character who bullies his wife and four children and wages paranoiac diatribes against his sister and her family. It is only when Mohammed leaves for work every morning that the house relaxes into the rich interconnectivity of familial relationships: ... Read more


Overview

Mohammed is an aggressive, dominant character who bullies his wife and four children and wages paranoiac diatribes against his sister and her family. It is only when Mohammed leaves for work every morning that the house relaxes into the rich interconnectivity of familial relationships: between Mohammed’s gentle wife Fatima and his sister Rana, who yearns desperately to contribute to this historic fight for freedom; between the twelve-year old twins and Rana’s gentle son Mazin, whose effeminacy is a source of great anxiety to her. This formidable woman tends her chickens and her garden in the courtyard, sharing the produce with the neighbours and improving the lives of everybody around her, even though she cannot raise a placard with the men. When Ahmed, Mohammed's brother, is involved in a terrible incident,and he wakes up in an underground cavern, surrounded by groaning, dying men stretched out on blankets on the floor, he is stunned by what he discovers there. A Hero explores the complicated question of what constitutes a hero set against the exciting, frightening chain of events happening in the Middle East right now – events that will have far-reaching effects on our part of the world. Readers will discover how similar and different our cultures are as they identify with the emotions and interactions of the people in this story, and learn something about themselves in the process.

Charlotte Mendel

Charlotte Mendel was born in Nova Scotia and spent three years travelling around the world, working in France, England, Turkey, Israel and India. She is the author of Turn Us Again (Roseway/Fernwood, 2013), which won the H.R. Percy Novel Prize, the Beacon Award for Social Justice, and the Atlantic Book Award in the Margaret and John Savage First Book category. Her second novel, A Hero (Inanna Publications, 2015) was shortlisted for the 2016 William Saroyan International Prize for Writing, and was a Finalist in the 2016 International Book Awards in the General Fiction category. Charlotte currently lives in Enfield with twenty chickens, four goats, three sheep, two cats, two children, one husband and thousands of bees.

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