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When Sharifa accompanies her husband on a marriage-saving trip to India, she thinks that she's going to research her great-great-grandfather, a wealthy business leader and philanthropist. What captures her imagination is not his rags-to-riches story, but the mystery of his four wives, missing from the family lore. She ends up excavating much more than she had imagined.
Sharifa's trip coincides with a time of unrest within her insular and conservative religious community, and there is no escaping its politics. A group of feminists is speaking out against khatna, an age-old ritual they insist is female genital cutting. Sharifa’s two favourite cousins are on opposite sides of the debate and she seeks a middle ground. As the issue heats up, Sharifa discovers an unexpected truth and is forced to take a position.
"In her grand tradition, Farzana Doctor once again pushes us forward with nuanced, layered, inter-generational prose, to bring visibility to an important social issue. An urgent and passionate read. " — Vivek Shraya, author of I'm Afraid of Men
"Farzana Doctor is a writer of extraordinary wit, generosity, and ethical commitment; and Seven explores with courage and storytelling finesse the harsh truths within the ideals of kinship and community. " — David Chariandy, award-winning author of Brother
"Penetrating and subtle, Seven deftly explores loyalty in changing times, what it means and what you give up to be a part of a community, a marriage, and friendships. Sharifa is a sympathetic everywoman; her relationships fully realized and deeply felt in this immersive, absorbing portrait. " — Eden Robinson, bestselling author of the Trickster trilogy
"A defiant and engrossing novel. " — Sarah Schulman, author of Conflict is Not Abuse
"Doctor weaves sensitivity and hope into a gripping narrative. [Seven is] a soulfully-written book about a vexed cultural issue. " — Masooma Ranalvi, founder of WeSpeakOut.org