The Favored Daughter by Fawzia Koofi

Fawzia Zoofi was her father’s nineteenth child and the unwanted seventh child of her mother. She was left out in the sun to die for several hours after her birth but her mother had a change of heart and Fawzia became her loved child in the harsh political situation of Afghanistan.

The Favored Daughter is written for her own two daughters and each chapter opens with a brief letter to them. Fawzia recounts her life; the loss of her dearly loved mother, the loss of her father, brother and husband, and her own good fortune in being able to receive an education and progress to work with UNICEF and become the first female politician in Afghanistan.

We hear Fawzia’s own voice, frequently speaking in clichés and somtimes in flawed English but always with fervour and belief in her mission to improve the difficult lot of her fellow Afghanis. She is addressing her daughters in her short letters as there are daily attempts on her life and she hopes they will be inspired to believe in themselves and have a better life than she has had with her struggle against injustice and brutality.