An Interview With Anjali
Not long ago I did a search on “best short story collections of 2017”. Among the results was All the Names They Used for God by Anjali Sachdeva. Through her very well done webpage I read a story. I read a few of the numerous glowing print reviews. I found the Kindle edition on sale for $1.95 so I hit “purchase now”.
Today’s story is the title work in the collection. (The author talks about her research methods in the Q and A session linked above.) “All The Names They Used for God” is set in Nigeria, the central characters are two women kidnapped by Boko Haram at around age twelfe. They escaped somehow and are now in their early twenties, both married. Escaped does not at all mean they are free. Sachdeva lets us see how their years of captivity involving forced labour, sexual slavery, and rigid adherence to religious law, as seen by the Boko Haram have impacted them. Both women are now married, they saw it as the choice between being raped by many men or by one man over and over. One of the women has learned how to control her husband, using dark magic tricks she learned from a prostitute. Both seem to hate their husbands, who can divorce them on a whim.
Based on this story, i greatly look forward to reading the other eight stories in the collection.