In 77 narratives, commentaries, essays and poems, women writers address the issue of women's human rights. Six closely linked sections in this groundbreaking international anthology explore themes of war, exile, imprisonment, censorship, domestic and political violence, courage, protest and resistance. Published in 1999 this is a powerful historical document. The collection includes pieces by both familiar and less well-known writers, who personalize the suffering that inevitably attends those who live in the shadow of war and tyranny. More than an earnest sampler of atrocities and defiance, the book attests to the power of the word as an effective weapon in the fight for social and political rights.
In Agosin's words, "to write under adversity is to actively resist pain and betrayal, but it is also a form of denying horror." Whether Nadine Gordimer decrying the brutality of South African apartheid, Slavenka Drakulic asking insightful questions about ethnic cleansing in her Bosnian homeland or Aung San Suu Kyi's bold defiance in the face of imprisonment in Burma, the compilation succeeds as a powerful indictment of human rights violations. Without unnecessary fingerpointing or posturing, it effectively forces readers to rethink their views on social as well as political justice for womenAnot just locally, but globally.