Most of the contributors to this collection were new to me, which turned out to be a great thing. I love being exposed to new voices! And the writers showcased in I Speak for Myself are definitely worthy of the attention.
I have to admit that I had mixed feelings about The Girl Who Was On Fire as a whole. There were some essays that I absolutely loved, and some that just fell flat for me. Overall, I felt like there was way too much time spent analyzing the “reality television” angle. I could’ve figured out a lot of that myself, without being told by essay after essay after essay! One or two might have sufficed for that aspect of the trilogy.
A year or two ago, I spotted a copy of this book in the bargain section of a local Chapters, and immediately snatched it up. I don’t know why it was marked down to bargain pricing, but my only regret is that I didn’t get around to reading it sooner.
This collection of essays is one of my favourite pieces about contemporary North American Muslim women. I’ve read it once before, a few years ago (before I converted), and liked it just as much upon re-reading it today.
Each of the women in this collection reflects upon her mixture of identities – American, Muslim, and sometimes others – and how this mixing of identities has shaped some part of her life.
I originally bought this book because of the gorgeous pictures – a variety of photographs of people praying around the world. While I still enjoyed the photographs during my actual reading of the essays, I found myself drawn in even more by what the contributors had to say.