The Dancer from Khiva by Bibish
One Muslim Woman's Quest for Freedom

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Synopsis

An unflinchingly honest memoir, The Dancer from Khiva is a true story that offers remarkable insights into Central Asian culture through the harrowing experiences of a young girl.

In a narrative that flows like a late-night confession, Bibish recounts her story. Born to an impoverished family in a deeply religious village in Uzbekistan, Bibish was named “Hadjarbibi” in honor of her grandfather’s hadj, or pilgrimage to Mecca. But the holy name did not protect her from being gang-raped at the age of eight and left for dead in the desert. Bibish’s tenacity helped her survive, but in the coming years, that same tough-spiritedness caused her to be beaten, victimized, and ostracized from her family and community. Despite the seeming hopelessness of being a woman in such a cruelly patriarchal society, Bibish secretly cultivated her own dreams--of dancing, of raising a family, and of telling her story to the world.

The product of incredible resilience and spirit, The Dancer from Khiva is a harrowing, clear-eyed dispatch from a land where thousands of such stories have been silenced. It is a testament to Bibish’s fierce will and courage: the searing, fast-paced tale of a woman who risked everything.
 

About Bibish

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Andrew Bromfield is a founding editor of the Russian literature journal GLAS, and has translated into English works from authors as diverse as Tolstoy, Michael Bulgakov, and, more recently, Sergei Lukyanenko, whose NIGHT WATCH series has sold more than three million copies worldwide.
 
Published August 5, 2008 by Grove Press, Black Cat. 176 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs. Non-fiction

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She eventually married Ikram, a well-off young man from Turkmenia (it was his mother who shortened her name to Bibish), and the couple migrated to Russia in search of a better life.

Aug 01 2008 | Read Full Review of The Dancer from Khiva: One Mu...

BC Books

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Last year the landmark of more than half of the world's population living in cities was passed, and Bibish's story, while exceptional in being told, gives an insight into the tremendous difficulty of their experience.

Jul 11 2009 | Read Full Review of The Dancer from Khiva: One Mu...

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Aug 15 2009 | Read Full Review of The Dancer from Khiva: One Mu...

Bookmarks Magazine

Despite the seeming hopelessness of being a woman in such a cruelly patriarchal society, Bibish secretly cultivated her own dreams--of dancing, of raising a family, and of telling her story to the world.

The product of incredible resilience and spirit, The Dancer from Khiva is a har...

Oct 19 2008 | Read Full Review of The Dancer from Khiva: One Mu...

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