Usually associated with a river in central B.C., the word Skeena, in Arabic, means "Spirit of Tranquility"; (Sakina); in Hebrew, the "Indwelling Feminine Face of Divinity"; (Shekhinah); and in the languages of Nisga'a Peoples, the "River of Mists"; (Skeena). Fauzia Rafiq's new, tri-national novel about a Muslim Canadian woman named Skeena (Libros Libertad $20), has three ten-year cycles, starting from a Pakistani Punjabi village in 1971, Lahore, India in 1981, Toronto in 1991; before Skeena reaches Surrey, B.C. in 2001. The story of Skeena coping with patriarchic values was first launched in a Punjabi (Shahmukhi) version from Pakistan in 2007. It has now appeared in a Gurumukhi edition, from Uddari Books in Surrey, and in English via Libros Libertad in White Rock. Having contributed to the anthology Aurat Durbar: The Court of Women: Writings by Women of South Asian Origin (Sumach Press, 1995), Rafiq is also releasing a selection of her English and Punjabi poetry, Passion-Fruit/Tahnget-Phal. 9781926763125

Fauzia Rafiq is a South Asian Canadian author of fiction and poetry in both English and Punjabi who also writes blogs about violence against women, the environment and art.


Skeena (Libros Libertad, 2011) 9781926763125 $20.00

[BCBW 2011]