Wednesday, March 05, 2014

I am Malala - A review

Title: I Am Malala
Author: Malala Yousafzai and Christina Lamb
Price: Rs 295/-

How often does it happen that you're just finishing a book and a reviewing challenge comes up? First, I'm not big on reviews.. writing them that is. I love reading them though.


'I am Malala' is a book I've been wanting to read for a long time for lots of reasons. Though I'm not much for autobiographies I love women protagonists and one as brave and inspiring as this one made it a sure read for me. Also, I have always been curious about life in Pakistan because they are so close and so like us yet so very different in many ways.


All those reasons made the book a compelling read.


This is the story of Malala, a young Pakistani girl, who is passionate about the cause of Women's education. 


Malala was the eldest of three children. Both her younger siblings were boys. Despite the bias against girls that was/is prevalent in Pakistan, much like India, she remained her father's favourite. Her mother was illiterate yet a very forward thinking woman. However, it was her father who influenced her most. He was a speaker and an educationist and ran schools of his own. She would sit near him and listen to him as he told stories or later, discussed politics. As she grew older she started going out with him to deliver talks on the need for education. They would talk at rallies and meets and at radio stations.


She traces the political upheavals in Pakistan - Musharraf's coming to power, Benazir's assassination, the Taliban rise, 9/11 and it's effect on Pakistan and also Osama's capture. 


Her relatively happy life as the brightest student of her class, changed when the Taliban took over the Swat valley.
"I was ten when the Taliban came to the Valley. Moniba (her friend) and I had been reading the Twilight series and longed to be vampires."
What it must have been for a free-thinking, Twilight reading, bright young girl to suddenly be barred from school, is hard to imagine. From worrying about whether she would top her class yet again she had to start worrying about how long she would be able to go to school at all. 

However, Malala and her friends refused to be cowed down by the Taliban. They would hide their books under their shawls along the way to school. She talks at length about life under their rule. She derived her strength from her father who canvassed tirelessly against them. She also wrote a blog for the BBC under the pseudonym Gul Makai.


When she was 15 in 2012, on her way back from school, the Taliban shot her in  the head at point blank range. Nobody expected her to survive. But she did and despite her experiences, continues to champion her cause even today.

Her's is a very fascinating journey and that makes the book a great read. 

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Linking to Write Tribe Festival of Words

I'm taking part in the Write Tribe Festival of Words -3

38 comments:

  1. Ah, a book I have been meaning to read ever since I saw her interview on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Her words were so simple that they moved me! Check it out when you have time.

    http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/tue-october-8-2013/malala-yousafzai

    Nice review, Tulika. This is definitely on my must-read list!

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    1. Will watch certainly. Thanks for sharing Shailaja.

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  2. this really is a book I wanna read... have been fascinated by her story since the incident...
    Had written about it earlier http://www.godyears.net/2012/10/within-that-inch-we-are-free.html

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    1. It's worth a read Roshan. Hopping over to your blog to get that post.

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    2. Says 'page does not exist'. -(

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  3. I have bookmarked this book to read too! Her courage is inspiring. While there are rave reviews for this book. There's much negative too. I read that is basically written for Western consumption. Is that true?

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    1. A bit maybe.. but her story is so compelling it more than makes up for any Western leanings.

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  4. That one incident brought her to the attention of people world over, and she was the focal point of our prayers for a long time, till she came out and spoke at the UN last year on her birthday. Awesome girl, and an awesome review here ! :)

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  5. This is one of the books I want to read soon.....hopefully I will :)

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  6. I am Malala will most definitely be picked. I have to know her story! And you dis a great job putting across a crisp review too :-)

    Richa

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  7. I too havent really read autobiographies as such but I am interested in this one because of her being in the news.. !!

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    1. Yeah.. what she did was creditable and she was just so young.

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  8. this is in my to read list, i need to get the copy soon, thanks for sharing

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    1. It was a pleasure to write about her. Thanks for dropping by.

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  9. I have been meaning to read this book for a while now, thanks for your lovely review I will do so soon.

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  10. Your review makes me want to go to the bookstore right away and begin reading it :-) Lovely book and a superb review :-)

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    1. That's quite a compliment. Thanks.

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  11. a beautiful review that is well deserving to this young lady.
    gotta pick up this copy...a good reminder to do so :)

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  12. A beautiful book and such an inspiring story..
    She changed the lives of millions of girls and brought hope to more.

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    1. Yes, absolutely. Living in such a conservative society to have the kind of courage she had is amazing.

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  13. M dying to read I am Malala and a beautiful tribute to the brave heart:)

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  14. What a wonderful review, Tulika:-) I loved it, and I also love this book, and the truly inspiring story of this brave brave girl. May the world show her and other Malalas all possible support, always.

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    1. You're right.She is getting loads of support thanks to the media.

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  15. That was a great review Tulika and I have been meaning to read this book for a while now. Your post comes as reminder!

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  16. Bookmarking this page. Her speech at the UN was one of the best inspirational one ever.
    Thanks for the review :)

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    1. Hey thanks. She sure is an inspiring girl.

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  17. I am adding this to my wish list too. I am not keen on Autobiographies, but this on seems like a must read. :)

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    1. Yeah I also rarely read autobiographies but some are good reads.

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  18. It is a good read. Written through the eyes of a young girl it gives a different account of Pakistan. It talks about day to day life and poliitical development's through a child's eyes.
    The numerous Pashtu customs she decribes are also interesting and bear resemlance to many Indian ones.
    Overall this book really changed the way i think about Pakistan and its people. Must read!
    Brave girl and even braver is her Father.

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  19. this one is been on my list too for a long time.. reminds me of thousand splendid sons!

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  20. Malala.
    Now, this is a TRUE HERO.
    I'd love to hear her book on audio.

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