OurShelves: Witches with Shahrukh Husain
Shahrukh Husain, editor of The Virago Book of Witches, who says it represents ` womanhood in all its complexity’ is not at all surprised to see a resurgence of interest in `all things witchy’. The witch knows her strength, defies authority and embodies our current fears of injustice. Shah tells Lucy how the witch can be playful but also terrifying, particularly to men, and about a childhood fascination for the witch. The writer she admires is Attia Hussain, author of Sunlight on a Broken Column, who she remembers was` so joyful’ to know Shah was writing. She, alongside Shah’s mother taught her that her cosmopolitan background – Pakistani, Indian, English – was her strength and made her ` a citizen of the world’. They are Shah’s heroines.
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On the nightstand: Dame Joan of Pevensey by Rev. E E Crake
On my mind: the TV-series The Split with Nicola Walker
On the shelf: Sunlight on a Broken Column and Phoenix Fled by Attia Hossein
On the pedestal: My mother, who worked hard for women’s rights and the reform of family laws pertaining to women’s rights in Pakistan soon after its inception in 1947