I’m delving into non-fiction territory again today. Usually, it is not my favourite genre, but this sure is one hell of a book.
Girl with a Gun: Love, loss and the fight for freedom in Iran by Diana Nammi and Karen Attwood.
Diana Nammi became a fighter with the Peshmerga when she was only seventeen. Originally known as Galavezh, she grew up in the Kurdish region of Iran in the 1960s and 70s. She became involved in politics as a teenager and, like many students, played a part in the Iranian Revolution of 1979. But the new Islamic regime tolerated no opposition, and after Kurdistan was brutally attacked, Galavezh found that she had no choice but to become a soldier in the famed military force.
She spent twelve years on the front line, and helped lead the struggle for women’s rights and equality for the Kurdish people, becoming one of the Iranian regime’s most wanted in the process. As well as being the startling account of Galavezh’s time as a fighter, Girl with a Gun is also a narrative about family and resilience, with a tragic love story at its heart.
What a book. Like I said, non-fiction is not usually my thing so I was weary going into this book. I’m glad my curiosity got the better of me though because this is a story you are going to want to read.
First, and please excuse my ignorance, I knew very little about the Kurdish people and their struggle. Considering what the book is about, I expected it to be very military based but was worried it would be just a retelling of facts and figures; a reason why I don’t really enjoy history books. Don’t get me wrong. There is a lot of focus on the battle Diana found herself it. It is graphic and heartbreaking and really puts you in the middle of the fighting. But what was equally heartbreaking was the story of a woman trying to find her way, particularly in a world dominated by men. Despite being as brave, strong and smart as the men, Diana was overlooked for promotions because of her gender. Likewise, she was the focus of gossip for not marrying a man she didn’t love and living a man many believed to be above her station. Whether you are interested in the struggle of the Kurdish people or not, Girl With a Gun is worth reading for Diana’s story alone.
I’m off now to learn more about this amazing woman.
Get your copy of Girl with a Gun here.
I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.