The Monsoon War: A Novel (Hardcover)
The Monsoon War revisits the futuristic country of Before She Sleeps, where government leaders maintain a stranglehold over women's freedom and reproductive lives. In a neglected southern province, a female armed resistance bands together as the Hamiyat, the protectors of those who are too weak to withstand. Now, they plan a courageous attack on the perpetrators of this regime that will free them from its tyranny forever.
Alia Musa is the wife of three husbands in a remote mountain village of Dhofar. When her youngest child, Noor, discovers a group of women who have escaped the regime to take refuge on the mountain, Alia must leave her home, join the Hamiyat resistance, and find out just how far she is willing to go for the daughters she loves, the husband she adores, and the mountain that she calls home.
As a promising young soldier in the Hamiyat, Katy Azadeh has found family and home in the resistance. Kidnapped during an unexpected skirmish and taken from the mountains, Katy is seduced by the ways of wealthy neighboring Eastern Semitia. Despite their veiled promises, Katy must find her way back to the Hamiyat to face the war that threatens their very existence.
Commander Fatima Kara is a veteran of the Hamiyat, leading her women to protect the women of the mountain villages from the government agents and the abuses of polygamy. A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity from Eastern Semitia makes Fatima Kara gamble with the lives of her soldiers, to win the ultimate prize for them all—their freedom.
The Monsoon War is a near-future resistance novel that harnesses the powerful metaphor of women’s bodies as the battleground on which the wars of the future will be played out.
"Betrayals, reversals, action and nail-biting suspense make for an addictive story... and the characters and their incandescent fellowship will keep you obsessed." — The Washington Post
“Listen to the voice of Bina Shah—you will hear a young, confident, compassionate new Pakistan. Her latest novel not only sparkles with wit and wisdom but is a deeply moving paean to the power of love for the author's Pakistani culture and people.” — Professor Akbar Ahmed, author, playwright, poet, and Chair of Islamic Studies at American University
Praise for Before She Sleeps: “In Bina Shah’s Before She Sleeps, women who have survived a deadly strain of HPV are forced to have children with multiple husbands.” — As cited by The Atlantic as one of the preeminent contemporary dystopian novels, July 2022
“Female-centered #Dystopia from #Pakistan: Before She Sleeps, Bina Shah. Fascinating new angle on ‘emotional work’!” — Margaret Atwood on Twitter
“A haunting, dystopian thriller… Fans of The Handmaid’s Tale won’t want to miss this one.” — Publishers Weekly, starred review
“An overdue enlargement of the cultural conversation that [The Handmaid’s Tale] continues to provoke.” — Kirkus Reviews
“Charged and thrilling…exquisite…Shah develops her multiple characters beautifully…a thoughtful novel that will stick with me for a very long time.” — Los Angeles Times
“The most subtly disturbing of dystopias, richly textured and appallingly intimate, Before She Sleeps has hints of Huxley and Atwood but is uniquely Bina Shah.” — Nick Harkaway, author of Gnomon and The Gone-Away World
“Gripping, smart and dystopian in the most terrifying way, which is to say that it seems so very possible. Green City is the glossy, AI-powered, deeply misogynistic technocracy of our nightmares, which the free yet confined women of the Panah desperately struggle to defy.” — Molly Crabapple, author of Drawing Blood
“A timely novel of women’s resistance and determination…. Bina Shah has given us a welcome addition to the feminist dystopian thriller that expands the genre beyond a white-centric gaze. Women’s stories and women’s voices—in all our diversity—are important and Bina Shah’s thriller is a necessary reminder.” — Mona Eltahawy, author of Headscarves and Hymens: Why the Middle East Needs a Sexual Revolution
“Shah’s novel is both explicitly connected to Atwood’s marvel [The Handmaid’s Tale] and working to expand it by imagining what a secular, Middle Eastern Gilead might look like…. One of the best books of the second half of 2018.” — The Millions
“Provocative.” — Syfy.com, one of the Best Books of the Summer
“Before She Sleeps stands on its own as a novel that will have readers contemplating rebellion and revolt, sex and power, and the many ways women’s bodies are sacrificed for the good of society.” — Booklist