In what is believed to be a first, a Kurdish woman will be publishing a novel written in English.
Reports Publishers Weekly in its Global Deals email:
In a three-way auction, Chelsea Hutchens won world rights (excluding Canada) to Warrior Butterflies, the debut novel by Ava Homa, which both the author and her agent, Chris Kepner, believe to be the first novel by a Kurdish woman available in English.
Ava Homa grew up in Kurdish Iran before emigrating to Canada where she wrote the book in English.
In a sobering statement Homa explained,
Kurdish literature is rarely translated, leaving the Kurds, a voiceless nation, too busy staying alive to create literary pieces in foreign languages.
The claim to be the first Kurdish woman to write a novel in English may be accurate, but Homa, who’s father was tortured and imprisoned in Iran for possessing banned books, is no stranger to writing. What the Publishers Weekly briefing omits to mention is that her short story collection, Echoes from the Other Land (2010), was nominated for the 2011 Frank O’Connor International Award, and came sixth in the Reader’s Choice contest of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation for the Giller Prize, Canada’s leading short story prize.
So congratulations to Ava Homa, but the real story here, as Homa herself rightly acknowledges, is the Kurds,
voiceless nation, too busy staying alive to create literary pieces in foreign languages.