Q&A with Nafisa Haji, author of The Writing on My Forehead discussion

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The opening paragraph

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message 1: by Robin (new)

Robin | 5 comments Nafisa~Your novel was wonderful! You incorporate so many lovely, rich, well-developed characters and weave a beautiful story.I love the opening paragraph especially. From one who from time to time has vivid dreams of emotionally embracing a dearly departed ,this paragraph never fails to bring me to tears. What was your inspiration for this memorable opening paragraph?


message 2: by Nafisa (new)

Nafisa Haji | 22 comments Mod
Robin wrote: "Nafisa~Your novel was wonderful! You incorporate so many lovely, rich, well-developed characters and weave a beautiful story.I love the opening paragraph especially. From one who from time to time ..."

Hi Robin,
Thank you so much--I am really glad you liked the book. What a great question--one I haven't been asked before.
The opening paragraph was really written chronologically--one of the first things I wrote when I knew that the stories in my head were going to coalesce into a novel through the voice of a character named Saira. The "dream" is something that came later, added in, as the story and characters developed and I knew the trajectory both would take.
I, like you, have had vivid dreams about loved ones no longer with us. For me, though rare, these kinds of dreams have stuck out and always seem crystal clear compared to the regular, garden variety dreams that Freud would make much of, I am sure. Have those dreams been like that for you?
As for the opening paragraph and the title itself, my mom really did trace words of prayer on my forehead when I was a child....
Thanks again, Robin!


message 3: by Robin (new)

Robin | 5 comments That is sweet and beautiful that your mother actually traced words of prayer on your forehead. A special bonding time for you both I'm sure.

Yes, my dreams have been like you mentioned yours were. They are very rare but very significant and crystal clear as you mentioned. I suppose they are so because of the longing to be reunited with them. I play the dreams over and over in my head so as to have my loved one with me just a little longer. I know that this is not something everyone experiences so I do treasure these dreams.I read your opening paragraph to one of my niece's on what would have been my mother's 83rd birthday a few weeks ago. I had a vivid dream of her some time ago, an especially meaningful "visit", and so this was shared with the family. Your writing allowed us to speak of the dream again and weep over your beautiful words connecting us in shared memories. Thank you for your beautiful prose.


message 4: by Nafisa (new)

Nafisa Haji | 22 comments Mod
Robin wrote: "That is sweet and beautiful that your mother actually traced words of prayer on your forehead. A special bonding time for you both I'm sure.

Yes, my dreams have been like you mentioned yours we..."


Thank you for sharing that moment with your niece with us. I remember many such occasions with aunts and great-aunts and grandmothers who had frequent dreams of their aunts/mothers/grandmothers...nurturing a cross-generational feminine connection that is something I have carried with me and which, obviously, has informed my writing, too.


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