Conjuring Margaret Atwood’s, The Handmaid’s Tale, BEFORE SHE SLEEPS: A Novel by internationally renowned author Bina Shah, takes the parable of women selected for breeding to a terrifying new level. In this dystopian thriller, women in the Middle East and South Asia have had their numbers drastically reduced by war, gender selection and disease making the ratio of women to men alarmingly low. The consequence is that women must take multiple husbands in order to produce more female children.
But not all women agree to submit. A female collective in Green City live in a dark underworld known as the Panah, emerging only at night to provide a commodity that nobody can buy: intimate, non-sexual companionship. But not even the most influential men of Green City can shield the women of the Panah from discovery and the dangers of ruthless punishment.
BEFORE SHE SLEEPS, written by one of Pakistan’s most talented writers, takes the patriarchal practices of female seclusion and veiling, gender selection and control over women’s bodies, and amplifies and distorts them in a truly terrifying way to envision a world of post-religious authoritarianism over women’s lives.