Book Review: My Feudal Lord by Tehmina Durrani

Tehmina Durrani with William and Marilyn Hoffer engage the reader to assess women’s role in Pakistan. When My Feudal Lord was first published (around 1994), it shook Pakistan society.

The book does not buzz with a nail-biting tale, as it certainly describes a woman’s fight against a deep-rooted social system – which has double standards.

My Feudal Lord, chronicles the story of Tehmina Durrani – a girl who grows up facing a seemingly impossible challenge that she is a girl! She is caught in the orbit within her own influential family, and her subsequent marriages – first to Anees, and later to Mustafa Khar, one of Pakistan’s prominent political figures.

As was expected of Tehmina Durrani, she was to marry, adjust; bear many children, adjust; attend dinners and lunches…in her case, face seething attacks from society-women and adjust. Later, her marriage to Mustafa Khar is a complete disaster – when she finds herself alienated from her friends, and disowned by her family.

The book, based on an extraordinary true story possesses moral purpose to show how vulnerable women are – how they suffer in silence. My Feudal Lord is a reminder that the position of women is challenged not only in Pakistan – but in other parts of the world – as well.

‘Riveting…one of the many remarkable qualities of Durrani’s story in her total frankness…she emerges as a woman to be admired.’ The Age, Melbourne

‘An Extraordinary Story.’ Sunday Times

Geeta Chhabra

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