Homiera Qaderi to Speak at the Main Library


5/3/2022

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Homeira Qaderi, the acclaimed author of Dancing in the Mosque: An Afghan Mother’s Letter to her Son, will speak at an in-person event at the Main Library on May 12, from 6:30-8 p.m. Qaderi will be in conversation with poet Aria Aber. The event, which will include live translation from Persian to English, is sponsored by the Cambridge Public Library Foundation. 

In Dancing in the Mosque: An Afghan Mother’s Letter to her Son, Qaderi writes about the difficult choices she made as a mother when, 18 months after the birth of her son, she accepts an invitation to participate in an international writers workshop at the University of Iowa courtesy of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. State Department. But in going to the U.S., Qaderi is denied the right to her child. Devastating in its power, Dancing in the Mosque is a mother’s searing letter to a son she was forced to leave behind. The memoir focuses on the suffering of Afghan girls during those war years when there were fewer opportunities for them to express their distress and miseries through art and writing.   

Born in Kabul, Qaderi spent her childhood, youth, and adolescence in Herat during the Russian occupation, civil war, and Taliban rule. Following threats to her life, Qaderi took refuge in Iran where she obtained both a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Persian Literature. Qaderi is the author of six books, one of which has been translated into the English language. Qaderi is currently a fellow at the Radcliffe Institute. 

Aria Aber is the recipient of a 2020 Whiting Award in Poetry and is currently a Wallace Stegner Fellow in Poetry at Stanford University. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, New Republic, Kenyon Review, The Yale Review, Poem-A-Day, Narrative, Muzzle Magazine, Wasafiri, and elsewhere.