In the Shadows of Men (excerpt)


nadiaharhash

My grandfather was tough. Everyone in the family feared him, but I was his favorite. He protected me from the tyranny of my mother and the beatings of my grandmother and the teasing of my aunt. He preferred me to my cousin (or so I imagined), the first grandson, who was the eldest and, of course, a male.

Inside of me resides a child that does not grow, a childhood made of memories that begin with the first moment of my life. My childhood departed but never left me. The realities of my childhood are different than what my memory tells me, but my memory is shaped by the repetition of idealized events on the tongues of adults.

What mostly distinguishes my oh-so-heroic childhood are the first hours and months of my life, and I don’t know if my connection to the place where I was born is related to…

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