My Mother’s Scribe gut-punched me. The poems are sensorial. You step into them, watching events unfold. Rafiq is a witness to the travails of his birth mother, Maryam, but through her, you also come face-to-face with the tragedies of his ‘motherland’ Kashmir. The writing is crisp and delectable; and at times fun. Rafiq’s own wit shines through to help navigate the painful burden of the maternal legacy that resides at the heart of these poems. Despite her mental challenges, humor and hope remain steadfast in Maryam. While ruing world politics and loss of homeland, Rafiq captures his mother’s worldly vanities, endearing her to the reader. The apple does not fall far from the tree – this is a Kashmiri apple at that.
– Ather Zia
Ather Zia, Associate Professor of Political Anthropology, University of Northern Colorado Greeley, is author of Resisting Disappearance: Military Occupation and Women’s Activism in Kashmir (University of Washington Press 2019), and cofounder/editor of e-zine based on Kashmir titled Kashmir Lit at www.kashmirlit.org. Follow her latest blog at Huffington Post, http://www.huffingtonpost.in/bloggers/ather-zia/