Nicholas E. Barron

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“Fatima’s Room” Uses Story to Raise Awareness of Women’s Issues

“Fatima’s Room,” by Charlotte S. Gray, is about a Sudanese girl’s fight for her life.

Set in Sudan, the book opens with Fatima being accused of killing her father. She’s held in a room inside her favorite uncle’s house while her family decides her fate.

Enter to win a copy of “Fatima’s Room” by publishing the tweet below. See giveaway details.

I've entered to win #newbook 'Fatima's Room' in the #FatimasRoomGiveaway. Click To Tweet

The story takes place in the 1990s before there were two Sudans. Fatima lives in Sudan’s north, in Khartoum, where Sharia law is practiced. Her fate rests largely in how her uncles decide to implement punishment based on Sharia law. Death is certainly a possibility for Fatima.

What will happen to Fatima is one question dominating “Fatima’s Room.” Another question is how this seemingly kind and gentle girl came to be accused of patricide. Did she really kill her father?Cover of "Fatima's Room" by Charlotte S. Gray.

Answering the latter question is one part of Fatima’s past that Gray uses to tell this story.

Indeed, much of the book’s action occurs in the time before Fatima became imprisoned in her uncle’s home. After all, this is a story set inside one room featuring one main character. And Gray does a wonderful job flipping between past and present to bring us up to speed while advancing the story.

“Fatima’s Room” is an insightful book by Gray, someone who lived and worked for years with girls in Sudan. The book successfully bridges the gap between Sudan and Western readers, helping us understand the challenges faced by individuals caught in one of the world’s most challenging struggles, that of Sudan.

Gray’s writing is efficient yet compelling. She adeptly puts you inside Fatima’s room and inside Fatima’s mind.

The Parallels of “Fatima’s Room”

Something else Gray does well is to draw a parallel between Fatima’s confinement by place and confinement by culture.

“Fatima’s Room” is the story of a girl being held captive, accused of killing her father. But it’s also the story of a girl being held captive by a culture that oppresses women.

The book begins as a story about a girl confined to a room. Before you realize it, though, you’re reading a story about a girl oppressed her culture.

Gray most visibly exemplifies this oppression with female circumcision. Fatima frequently reflects back to when she and others in her family were subjected to this barbaric act.

And Fatima frequently considers the broader question of how her culture treats women.

The Sudan of Fatima’s time is one in regression. The optimism of moving past colonialism has faded, a time in her country’s history Fatima is aware of through her grandmother’s experiences: “This was something Fatima’s grandmother always complained about: times had changed for the worse with all this religion and Sharia laws.”

How girls like Fatima are treated in Sudan is almost as oppressive as possible, but the book raises larger questions about the treatment of women in more modern societies.

Yes, readers of “Fatima’s Room” are asked to feel something for the women in countries like Sudan. But we’re also asked to consider how women are treated in societies with more modern views than those of Fatima’s Sudan.

Through “Fatima’s Room” we see the immensity of impact a culture can have on one girl’s life. After all, “Fatima’s Room” is the story of a girl caught in the swirling rapids of her country’s culture.

And that’s a story of universal impact, a story that’s replicated with varying details across the globe.

“Fatima’s Room” is available for purchase here or on Amazon.

“Fatima’s Room” Giveaway

I’m giving away three copies of Charlotte S. Gray’s “Fatima’s Room”. Here’s how you can enter for your chance to win a copy of the book:

1) Publish a tweet or Facebook post. Your tweet must contain a link to this blog post and the hashtag #FatimasRoomGiveaway. Your Facebook post must contain a link to this blog post, the hashtag #FatimasRoomGiveaway, and tag my Facebook page (@writerbarron).

Each tweet and Facebook post you publish that follows these rules counts as an entry into the giveaway. For example, if you publish three tweets that link to this blog post and contain the hashtag #FatimasRoomGiveaway, you’ll have three entries to win. In other words, the more you tweet and post, the more you increase your chances to win.

An easy way to enter the giveaway is to click and publish the tweet below. The deadline to enter the drawing is 11:59 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Friday, June 16.

I've entered to win #newbook 'Fatima's Room' in the #FatimasRoomGiveaway. Click To Tweet

2) Subscribe to my newsletter. All subscribers to my newsletter by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on Friday, June 16, 2017, will be entered into a drawing to win a copy of “Fatima’s Room”. This is part of my monthly book giveaway.

3) Check back next week. I’ll announce the third giveaway for a copy of “Fatima’s Room” on this blog next week.

Housekeeping:

  • You must be in the United States in order to participate in the giveaway. (And, if you win, you must have a valid U.S. mailing address at which you can receive a copy of the book.)
  • You can only win one copy of the book. That means three different people will win a copy of “Fatima’s Room”.
  • If your name is drawn to win a copy of the book, you will be contacted in the platform by which you entered the giveaway. For example, if you win the Twitter giveaway, I will contact you through Twitter.
  • You must respond within 48 hours of receiving my notification that you’ve won the giveaway in order to receive your copy of the book. Failure to respond within 48 hours will result in your win being nullified and another winner being selected at random.
  • Winners will be selected at random using random.org. The drawing will take place on Saturday, June 17, 2017.
  • Winners will receive one paperback copy of “Fatima’s Room” by Charlotte Gray by the United States Postal Service mail.

Best of luck!

Fatima's Room Book Cover Fatima's Room
Charlotte S. Gray
Arc Light Books
June 4, 2017
Paperback
158
1939353254

"Fatima's Room" is a novel set in Khartoum. Fatima is a young woman accused of an unimaginable crime. She is confined to her room while her uncles will decide her fate. Fatima fills the hot and worrisome days of waiting, by writing in her journal. She remembers the time before her imprisonment, and imagines what the future might be. All the while family members come and go, interrupting her reflection with various schemes: to reconcile--or escape.

Book Giveaway for May is Only Hours Away so Enter Today

The Book Giveaway May 2017 happens this week!Image of flowers blooming in a field below the words "Book Giveaway May 2017".

This month I’m giving away Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. All you need to do is subscribe to my newsletter by 11:59 p.m. Wednesday, May 17, 2017, to be eligible. (Open only to U.S. residents.)

Actually, there’s something else you have to do if you win. You have to respond to my email notifying you that you’ve won. Last month no one ended up winning the giveaway. None of the winners responded to my email. It’s possible my email went into their spam folder.

So now would be a good time to make sure you whitelist my email, nicolas [at] nicolasbarron [dot] com. Below are links to instructions for whitelisting email addresses on four email services.

OK, subscribe to enter. Confirm your email address, then whitelist mine. That’s all it takes to enter the Book Giveaway May 2017. Good luck!

Book Giveaway May 2017

  • Prize: One copy of Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.
  • Drawing: The winner will be selected at random on Thursday, May 18, 2017.
  • How to enter: Subscribe to my newsletter by Wednesday, May 17, 2017. All subscribers to the newsletter as of 11:59 p.m., May 17, 2017, will be eligible to win.
  • Who can enter: Anyone in the United States who’s at least 18 years of age. (I would love to open the giveaway to readers outside the U.S. Unfortunately the legal complications of offering sweepstakes internally preclude my doing so at this time.)
  • Winner selection: The winner of the book giveaway will be chosen at random using random.org.
  • Winner notification: The winner will be notified using the email address they used when subscribing to my newsletter. The winner has 48 hours to respond to the winner notification email. After 48 hours, if the first winner of the book giveaway does not respond to the winner notification email, a second winner will be selected at random using random.org. The first winner will be ineligible to win in the second drawing. However, the first winner will be eligible to win the next month’s book giveaway provided they are subscribed to my newsletter as of the deadline to enter the following month’s sweepstakes.
  • Prize delivery: The book will be delivered through Amazon. The winner can select between three formats in which to receive the book: Kindle e-book, hardcover, or paperback. Format selection must be made within 48 hours of receiving the winning notification email. If format selection is not made within 48 hours of receiving the winning notification email, a second winner will be selected at random using random.org. The first winner will be ineligible to win in the second drawing. However, the first winner will be eligible to win the next month’s book giveaway provided they are subscribed to my newsletter as of the deadline to enter the following month’s sweepstakes.

First Book Giveaway Starts Next Week

What better way to help you indulge in books than a book giveaway?Photo of a tree with white blooms and a blue sky and the words "Book Giveaway April 2017."

My first book giveaway will be next week. Then I’ll give away a book every month thereafter. Anyone who’s subscribed to my newsletter by the monthly deadline is eligible to win. The deadline for the April giveaway is 11:59 p.m., Friday, April 7.

In this month’s sweepstakes, you can win a copy of Idaho by Emily Ruskovich. (By the way, my book review of Idaho will publish Saturday.)

Hosting a monthly book giveaway is one way I can say “thank you” to you for subscribing. And it aligns with this blog’s goal of helping you indulge in books.

Details are below. The gist is, subscribe now if you want to be eligible to win.

Book Giveaway – April 2017

Book cover of Idaho by Emily Ruskovich.

  • Prize: One copy of Idaho by Emily Ruskovich.
  • Drawing: The winner will be selected at random on Saturday, April 8, 2017.
  • How to enter: Subscribe to my newsletter by Friday, April 7, 2017. All subscribers to the newsletter as of 11:59 p.m., April 7, 2017, will be eligible to win.
  • Who can enter: Anyone in the United States who’s at least 18 years of age. (I would love to open the giveaway to readers outside the U.S. Unfortunately the legal complications of offering sweepstakes internally preclude my doing so at this time.)
  • Winner selection: The winner of the book giveaway will be chosen at random using random.org.
  • Winner notification: The winner will be notified using the email address they used when subscribing to my newsletter. The winner has 48 hours to respond to the winner notification email. After 48 hours, if the first winner of the book giveaway does not respond to the winner notification email, a second winner will be selected at random using random.org. The first winner will be ineligible to win in the second drawing. However, the first winner will be eligible to win the next month’s book giveaway provided they are subscribed to my newsletter as of the deadline to enter the following month’s sweepstakes.
  • Prize delivery: The book will be delivered through Amazon. The winner can select between three formats in which to receive the book: Kindle e-book, hardcover, or paperback. Format selection must be made within 48 hours of receiving the winning notification email. If format selection is not made within 48 hours of receiving the winning notification email, a second winner will be selected at random using random.org. The first winner will be ineligible to win in the second drawing. However, the first winner will be eligible to win the next month’s book giveaway provided they are subscribed to my newsletter as of the deadline to enter the following month’s sweepstakes.

Photo of a tree with white blooms and a blue sky and the words "Book Giveaway April 2017."

Ways to Indulge Yourself with Books

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

You love books. You like reading them. You might like writing them. This blog’s goal is to help you indulge your love of books. This means giving you options in how you follow this blog. That’s why there’s a newsletter, and that’s why we’re also on Facebook and Pinterest.Photo of a cup of coffee sitting on a table with foam designed to look like a heart.

You can follow this blog where and how you like. Links to subscribe to the newsletter or follow this blog on social media are below.

Maybe you want to write for this blog. I accept guest posts. You’ll find a quick rundown of this blog’s guest post guidelines below.

And if you have a book you’d like reviewed on NicolasBarron.com, let me know. Info on how to submit your book for review is below as well.

Subscribe and Follow Links

Newsletter – One email a week. Never miss a post. Be eligible for giveaways.

Pinterest – Book quotes and more.

Facebook – Links, photos for book lovers and writers.

Twitter – My personal tweets. Some stuff for readers, writers.

Guest Post

Want to guest write for NicolasBarron.com? First, send me a pitch. In your pitch, include:

  • A brief introduction of yourself. (1-2 sentences)
  • A link to your blog, website, or social media profile(s).
  • The proposed title of your post.
  • A brief outline of what you plan to submit. (2-4 sentences)
  • When you plan to submit the blog post.

Use the form on the guest post guidelines page to send me your pitch.

Submit Your Book for Review

Have a book you’d like reviewed on NicolasBarron.com? Here’s how you can submit your book for review:

  1. Read the submission guidelines.
  2. Read the disclosures and transparency.
  3. Email a short pitch to nicolas at nicolasbarron dot com.

Image of a Margaret Atwood quote reading, "I read for pleasure and that is the moment I learn the most."