Women Wide Awake by Manahil and Nimra Bandukwala
Women Wide Awake is a collection of stories, poetry, and visual art exploring folklore from the region of Sindh, Pakistan. This multi-genre book features stories of women, sea monsters, and mystical saints; they are accompanied by art—representations of sculpture and painting—and poetry that they have inspired in the authors. Collectively they explore themes that have resonated with people for centuries—acts of courage, strength, defiance, and love. Two sisters build a labyrinthine palace to test their suitors... a woman swims across a treacherous river at night to meet her forbidden lover... a bartendress makes a grave mistake. These folktales have persisted across generations and national boundaries through ritual storytelling and song. The sculptures were created using reclaimed materials: sari fabric, wedding invitations on paper, flowers, shells, and animal bones. (From Mawenzi House)
Manahil Bandukwala is a Pakistani writer, artist and editor currently based in Mississauga. She works for Arc Poetry Magazine, Canthius and her debut poetry collection, MONUMENT, was published in 2022. In 2019, Bandukwala was longlisted for the CBC Poetry Prize for her poem To ride an art horse. She has also been a finalist for the bpNichol Chapbook Award in 2021.
Nimra Bandukwala is a visual artist and maker of crafts using foraged and found materials. She is a recipient of arts grants from the Ontario Arts Council and the Canada Council for the Arts.