Seven

By (author): Farzana Doctor

  • A rich, nuanced inter-generational family tale that brings visibility to the practice of female genital cutting
  • Leaving New York to visit India with her husband, Sharifa dives into genealogical research and is intrigued by the missing stories of her great-great-grandfather’s four wives. Soon Sharifa uncovers uncomfortable truths about her family’s past and is faced with reconciling age-old traditions with their place in the modern world.
  • Author’s previous novel Six Metres of Pavement won a Lambda Literary Award, was shortlisted for the Toronto Book Award, and won One Book One Brampton 2017
  • Author volunteers with WeSpeakOut, a group that is working to ban female genital cutting in her Dawoodi Bohra community
AUTHOR

Farzana Doctor

Farzana Doctor is the Tkaronto-based author of four critically acclaimed novels: Stealing Nasreen, Six Metres of Pavement, All Inclusive, and Seven. You Still Look The Same is her debut poetry collection. Farzana is also the Maasi behind Dear Maasi, a new sex and relationships column for FGM/C survivors. She is also an activist and part-time psychotherapist.


Reviews

Be prepared for this novel to stay with you for a long time, especially its ending.
– Globe and Mail

[An] extraordinary book… packed with discovery and jarring emotional arcs.
– Toronto Star

Farzana Doctor is a writer of extraordinary wit, generosity, and ethical commitment; and Seven explores with courage and storytelling finesse the harsh truths within the ideals of kinship and community.
– David Chariandy, award-winning author of Brother

Penetrating and subtle, Seven deftly explores loyalty in changing times, what it means and what you give up to be a part of a community, a marriage, and friendships. Sharifa is a sympathetic everywoman; her relationships fully realized and deeply felt in this immersive, absorbing portrait.
– Eden Robinson, bestselling author of the Trickster trilogy

In her grand tradition, Farzana Doctor once again pushes us forward with nuanced, layered, inter-generational prose, to bring visibility to an important social issue. An urgent and passionate read.
– Vivek Shraya, author of The Subtweet

A defiant and engrossing novel.
– Sarah Schulman, author of Conflict is Not Abuse

Seven is an intimate, gutsy feminist novel that exposes the lasting, individual impacts of making women?s bodies fodder for displays of religious obeisance.

– Foreword Reviews

Doctor?s writing is clean and readable, and by the novel?s end, she has layered all the elements together in a meaningful way. Her novel?s willingness to engage readers with this challenging, important subject matter is invaluable.
– Booklist

Visceral and emotional… a courageous feat.
– Quill & Quire

Doctor weaves sensitivity and hope into a gripping narrative. [Seven is] a soulfully-written book about a vexed cultural issue.
– Masooma Ranalvi, founder of WeSpeakOut.org

Seven is fully feminist and ambitiously bold; this is an important book for our changing times.
– Karla J. Strand, Ms. Magazine

A brave and beautiful book.
– Judy Rebick, author of Heroes in My Head

Family secrets, loyalty, and betrayal lie at the heart of Seven. Delving into history can unearth deeper mysteries than one bargained for.
– Zarqa Nawaz, author of Laughing All The Way to the Mosque

Doctor is not afraid to address injustice cloaked as religion in a world filled with the roar of #MeToo.
– Broadview Magazine

The different threads of this novel are woven powerfully and culminate in a terrifically moving story.
– Pickle Me This

In generously inviting prose, Doctor deftly tackles intergenerational trauma through a distinctly feminist lens.
– This Magazine

Seven presents a messy situation and Doctor skillfully curates the disarray into a rewarding and consistently engaging read.
– Hamilton Review of Books

The feminist novel of the year.
– Now Magazine

A piece of art… this is an exquisite collector’s piece. Add it to your own.
– NRI Pulse

This is a remarkable work that will cause you to think and really push yourself to understand and examine.
– The Nerdy Girl Express

Doctor creates a vibrant world full of the conundrums of belonging in the community; the insidiousness of belief and its silent power, the meaning of being female, surrounded by centuries of a culture and religion.
– New York Journal of Books

Seven feels more like a close friend sharing than an author telling a tale. Many authors aspire for this sort of sublimity, but it is Doctor’s effortlessness in creating this intimacy that gives the feeling that she is an author on the verge of transcending the barrier between author and reader.
– Prism Magazine

Doctor’s writing is skillfully layered, yielding a novel that is complex, gripping, and thought-provoking … Seven is a singular engrossing, emotional, and empowering story of the strengths of women, family, and truth.
– India Currents

Not only is this a story of the demystification of patriarchal taboos and prohibitions, but also a wonderful exploration of women’s relationships with other women as mothers, daughters, sisters, and cousins. It is also a persuasive and highly realist spotlight on contemporary India and the women’s movements and activism generated there in recent times in response to cataclysmic violence against women.
– Colorado Review

Farzana Doctor?s Seven widens the scope, addressing the harms of silence, silencing, and compliance as responses to trauma in the political sphere as well as within the personal, familial, and communal. It does so gradually, coming from a place of learning and caution.
– Event Magazine

Although its subject matter is serious and heavy, the novel keeps the reader engaged until the very end. Given the book?s themes of trauma, trust, resistance, gendered violence, and sexual violence, it is likely of interest to readers and scholars of gender studies, trauma studies, and sexuality studies.
– AwaaZ Magazine

Awards

There are no awards found for this book.
Excerpts & Samples ×
FINALIST FOR THE 2021 TRILLIUM AWARD ? FINALIST FOR THE 2021 EVERGREEN AWARD ? AN INDIGO BEST BOOK OF 2020 ? A GLOBE AND MAIL BEST INDEPENDENT READ FOR FALL 2020 ? AN APPLE BOOKS BEST BOOK OF 2020 ? A CBC BOOKS BEST CANADIAN FICTION BOOK OF 2020 ? A NOW MAGAZINE TOP TEN BOOK OF 2020

“Be prepared for this novel to stay with you for a long time, especially its ending.”?GLOBE AND MAIL
“[An] extraordinary book… packed with discovery and jarring emotional arcs.”?TORONTO STAR
“Penetrating and subtle … [An] immersive, absorbing portrait.”?EDEN ROBINSON
“Explores with courage and storytelling finesse the harsh truths within the ideals of kinship and community.” ?DAVID CHARIANDY
“An urgent and passionate read.” ?VIVEK SHRAYA
“Visceral and emotional… a courageous feat.”?QUILL & QUIRE (starred review)


A brave, soulfully written feminist novel about inheritance and resistance that tests the balance between kinship and the fight against customs that harm us.

When Sharifa accompanies her husband on a marriage-saving trip to India in 2016, she thinks that she?s going to research her great-great-grandfather, a wealthy business leader and philanthropist. What captures her imagination is not his rags-to-riches story, but the mystery of his four wives, missing from the family lore. She ends up excavating much more than she had imagined.

Sharifa?s trip coincides with a time of unrest within her insular and conservative religious community, and there is no escaping its politics. A group of feminists is speaking out against khatna, an age-old ritual they insist is female genital cutting. Sharifa?s two favourite cousins are on opposite sides of the debate and she seeks a middle ground. As the issue heats up, Sharifa discovers an unexpected truth and is forced to take a position.
  • A rich, nuanced inter-generational family tale that brings visibility to the practice of female genital cutting
  • Leaving New York to visit India with her husband, Sharifa dives into genealogical research and is intrigued by the missing stories of her great-great-grandfather’s four wives. Soon Sharifa uncovers uncomfortable truths about her family’s past and is faced with reconciling age-old traditions with their place in the modern world.
  • Author’s previous novel Six Metres of Pavement won a Lambda Literary Award, was shortlisted for the Toronto Book Award, and won One Book One Brampton 2017
  • Author volunteers with WeSpeakOut, a group that is working to ban female genital cutting in her Dawoodi Bohra community

Reader Reviews

Details

Dimensions:

416 Pages
8.5in * 5.5in * 1in
500gr

Published:

September 05, 2020

City of Publication:

Toronto

Country of Publication:

CA

Publisher:

Dundurn Press

ISBN:

9781459746398

Book Subjects:

FICTION / Literary

Language:

eng

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