cover image I Speak for Myself: American Women on Being Muslim

I Speak for Myself: American Women on Being Muslim

Edited by Maria M. Ebrahimji and Zahra T. Suratwala.%C2%A0White Cloud, $16.95 trade paper (236p) ISBN 978-1-935952-00-8

Ebrahimji, a producer at CNN, and Suratwala, a business consultant, assemble short essays by 40 unique American Muslim women in this easy to read book. Between the ages of 20 and 40, the authors share their range and diversity of experiences, from pleasant ones, such as becoming a mother, to ones that reflect stereotypes (such as teen marriage to protect the woman's "honor"). The diversity of experiences (from single moms to interns striking out on their own for the first time), ethnicity (from African-American to Arab immigrant), and variety of careers and higher education (from an doctor of Afghan-descent, second-guessing herself over the details of an emergency surgery, to a media enthusiast determined to become a television reporter despite her wearing of hijab) %E2%80%93 are striking for their range. Many women speak of their fathers, who both push their daughters to achieve but also implicitly reinforce a level of patriarchy. Their frustration over the lack of voice in American politics is a recurring theme. Despite some repetition and a lack of a guiding structure, this is a very useful and welcome contribution in an understudied area. (May)