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ShelterBox Book Club New Fiction by Afghan Women An International Women's Day Event

Festival of Ideas

Online: Crowdcast  |  Pay What You Can

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Every year ShelterBox Book Club celebrates International Women's Day with a book that showcases stories from women across the globe. We have once again joined forces to present a special live online event to celebrate this year's choice My Pen Is the Wing of a Bird.

My Pen Is the Wing of a Bird: New Fiction by Afghan Women is a landmark collection: the first anthology of short fiction by Afghan women. 18 writers from the country’s two main linguistic groups (Pashto and Dari) tell stories that are both unique and universal – stories of family, work, childhood, friendship, war, gender identity and cultural traditions.

The collection was developed over two year’s through UNTOLD’s Write Afghanistan project, at a pivotal moment in Afghanistan’s history, when these voices must be heard.

We are delighed that one of the authors Marie Bamyani will be joining Lucy Hannah, who edited the collection of stories for this live onine event. Together with ShelterBox’s Catherine Thornhill they discuss the writing project and being part of this unique book. The event also features readings by other contributors.

“This book reminds us that everyone has a story. Stories matter; so too the storytellers. Afghan women writers, informed and inspired by their own personal experiences, are best placed to bring us these powerful insights into the lives of Afghans and, most of all, the lives of women. Women’s lives, in their own words – they matter.” (Lyse Doucet in her introduction to the book)

This is a live online event with the opportunity for you to join in with questions and comments. As soon as the broadcast is over, it will be able to watch for up to 30 days.

Young woman wearing glasses and long dark hair pictured smiling.

Marie Bamyani was born in Kabul. She has a Bachelor of Psychology and an MBA in Public Relation. She ran a counselling centre in Kabul and worked with many international organizations in Afghanistan. She is currently living in Germany.

Woman with short reddish hair in white coat smiling

Lucy Hannah is the founder and director of Untold Narratives CIC whose project Write Afghanistan brought together the book My Pen is the Wing of a Bird. She is also the founder and director of Commonwealth Writers, and Out of the Gate. She is a Visiting Research Fellow at Kings College, London, and a Director of the BOCAS Lit Fest in Trinidad.

Catherine Thornhill

Catherine Thornhill is the Head Bookworm at the ShelterBox Book Club. She caught the charity bug volunteering as a teenager at an Oxfam and then a Samaritan’s book shop and has since worked for Foodbanks, Citizen’s Advice, a Student’s Union, a Circus Charity and ShelterBox. Last year she edited Tamesis Street, a collaborative climate story with authors such as Bill Bryson, Monique Roffey and Joanne Harris.


ShelterBox Book Club is offering free copies of Three Apples Fell From The Sky by Narina Agbaryan, our IWD pick from last year, for new subscribers. Use the code Bristol-Ideas-23 at the sign-up checkout to claim your free copy. 

ShelterBox Book Club

There is still time to receive your copy of My Pen Is the Wing of a Bird to read before our event.

Presented in Partnership

ShelterBox Book Club 2022: Watch Now

Booking Information

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