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At this book presentation, Afsana Press presents Choman Hardi’s 'Whispering Walls': A timely novel with powerful political resonance, documenting a Kurdish family’s quest for closure during the invasion of Iraq.

Against a background of war, three troubled siblings – two in London and one in Slemani, Iraq - struggle to solve the mystery of their siblings’ deaths. 'Whispering Walls' movingly tells the story of Lana and her brothers as they deal with the fall of the Iraqi regime, their current lives, and their past tragedies: the enigma of their teenage sister’s suicide, and their brother’s murder.

British-Kurdish writer, Choman Hardi, draws on real-life and historical events for her debut novel documenting a Kurdish family’s struggles during the 2003 US invasion of Iraq.

This event is organised by King's Gender Studies network and Afsana Press. The event is in-person only.

Choman Hardi_Whispering Walls

About the Author

Choman Hardi is an educator, poet, and scholar whose work is informed by an intersectional approach to inequality.  She returned home after 26 years of displacement to teach English and gender studies at the American University of Iraq, Sulaimani (AUIS). She founded the Center for Gender and Development Studies at AUIS, which initiated the first gender studies minor in Iraq.

She is the author of critically-acclaimed books in the fields of poetry, academia, and translation. Since 2010, poems from her first English collection, Life for Us (Bloodaxe, 2004) have been studied by secondary school students as part of their English GCSE curriculum in the UK.

Her second collection, Considering the Women (Bloodaxe, 2015), was given a recommendation by the Poetry Book Society and shortlisted for the prestigious Forward Prize for Best Collection. It was also translated into French in 2020. A selection of her poems was published in Italian in 2017.

Funded by the Leverhulme Trust, her post-doctoral research, Gendered Experiences of Genocide: Anfal Survivors in Kurdistan-Iraq (Routledge, 2011) was named a UK Core Title by the Yankee Book Peddler. Her translation of Sherko Bekas’ Butterfly Valley (ARC Publishing) won a PEN Translates Award. Whispering Walls is her debut novel.


Dr Rafeef Ziadah

Dr Ziadah is Lecturer in Politics and Public Policy in the Department of International Development (KCL). Her research focuses broadly on political economy, gender and race, with a particular focus on the Middle East and East Africa. She holds a PhD in Politics from York University, Canada. Rafeef is co-editor (with Brenna Bhandar) of the book Revolutionary Feminisms (Verso press 2020).

Her research on infrastructures and maritime politics has appeared in Politics, Antipode; Conflict, Security & Development; International Journal of Urban and Regional Research; Environment and Planning D: Society and Space; among other venues. Rafeef has worked as researcher and campaigns organiser with a number of refugee rights and anti-poverty NGOs.

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Rafeef Ziadah

Senior Lecturer in Politics and Public Policy (Emerging Economies)