Monster Child

By Rahela Nayebzadah

Monster Child
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In this powerful debut novel set in the spring of 2000, Rahela Nayebzadah introduces three unforgettable characters: Beh, Shabnam and Alif. In a world swirling with secrets, racism and danger we watch through the eyes of these three children as Nayebzadah's family of Afghan ... Read more


Overview

In this powerful debut novel set in the spring of 2000, Rahela Nayebzadah introduces three unforgettable characters: Beh, Shabnam and Alif. In a world swirling with secrets, racism and danger we watch through the eyes of these three children as Nayebzadah's family of Afghan immigrants try to find their way in an often uncaring Canadian society. But as the sexual assault of thirteen-year-old Beh spirals into a series of terrible events that threaten to unleash the past and destroy the family, the reader is left wondering who is the monster child? Is it Beh, who says she is called a disease? Is it Shabnam, who cries tears of blood? Is it Alif, who in the end declares, "We are a family of monsters"? Or are the monsters all around us?

Rahela Nayebzadah

A mother of two, Rahela Nayebzadah holds a PhD in the Faculty of Education from the University of British Columbia. Currently, she is a schoolteacher. Her autobiographical novel, Jeegareh Ma (2012), was based on her family's migration to Canada from Afghanistan.

Awards

  • Roderick Haig-Brown Regional Prize – BC and Yukon Book Prizes 2022, Short-listed
  • Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize – BC and Yukon Book Prizes 2022, Short-listed

Reviews

"Monster Child is a brief, intense attack of a novel capable of leaving one breathless and uncomfortably provoked – and this isn’t a bad thing. Discomfort challenges you. It can change you. "

Hollay Ghadery

"This is the most powerful and emotional book I have ever read in my life. "

"Nayebzadah packs a complicated family history into this short novel, rife with trauma . . . from the beginning until the end. "

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