Shabanu: Daughter of the Wind

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9780394948157: Shabanu: Daughter of the Wind

"This first novel is, on several counts, one of the most exciting YA books to appear recently. Staples is so steeped in her story and its Pakistani setting that the use of a first-person voice for a desert child rings authentic--the voice is clear, consistent, and convincing. Shabanu and her sister are to marry brothers as soon as they all come of age. But she will eventually lose her betrothed and be promised to a wealthy landowner to settle a feud. The richness and tragedy of a whole culture are reflected in the fate of this girl's family. Through an involving plot Staples has given readers insight into lives totally different from their own, but into emotions resoundingly familiar."--(starred) Bulletin, Center for Children's Books.  

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About the Author:

*Suzanne grew up in Pennsylvania, and was a liberal arts major in college.  After graduation, she had various jobs, all having something to do with writing and research.  Eventually, she landed in Hong Kong, where she became a reporter for United Press International.

*For six years, Suzanne lived and worked in China, and in 1979, UPI offered Suzanne her own bureau in South Asia.  Several extraordinary events happened during her tenure there, including the taking of American hostages in Iran, and the Civil War in Afghanistan.  Suzanne also traveled extensively with Indira Gandhi during this time.

*In 1985, Suzanne went to Pakistan to conduct a study on poor rural woman. It was during this time that she was inspired to write her first children's book, Shabanu: Daughter of the Wind .  A sequel to Shabanu , Haveli , soon followed.

*Currently, Suzanne Fisher Staples lives with her husband, Wayne Harley, in Mount Dora, Florida, where she continues to write.  

From Publishers Weekly:

Staples's first book is a beautiful portrayal of the life of a girl growing up among camel-dealing nomads in modern Pakistan. Shabanu knows the way her people, the Cholistanis, have always lived: a daughter abides by her father's decisions, a wife obeys her husband's wishes. Yet Shabanu is strong-willed and independent, and her mother warns, "Shabanu, you are wild as the wind. You must learn to obey. Otherwise . . . I am afraid for you." As the arranged marriage of Shabanu's sister Phulan approaches, and with her own wedding planned for the following year, Shabanu confronts her fear and apprehension. She scarcely knows the man she is expected to wed. What if she does not obey? Before the ceremonies take place, however, disaster strikes. Shabanu and Phulan, out alone and threatened with rape by a powerful local landowner, escape but humiliate him. In revenge, he kills Phulan's betrothed and threatens to cut off the family's water supply. As one condition for restoring peace, Shabanu must marry the landlord's older brother. With the help of a wise, loving aunt, Shabanu learns to curb and conceal her powerful will and channel it to bring her peace of mind. Staples's depiction of desert life is breathtaking. She employs vivid, lyrical metaphors to create the potency of the family's joys and struggles. Shabanu's thorny, poignant coming-of-age will capture the attention of readers young and old. Ages 12-up.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Suzanne Fisher Staples
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