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Archive for the ‘Prelude’ Category

The inspiration to write a book on the issue of femicide in India came to me when my former fiancé (a Kashmiri Indian) was forced by his parents to break off our engagement. I knew that our story was not unique; while in India I met several others who told me they were forbidden to marry the person they were in love with. In my quest to understand this phenomenon, I began to research arranged marriage.

Opening the door to that investigation unleashed an ugly world of stories. Dowry death, bride burning, female foeticide and infanticide, a genocide of the Indian female population. One article after another of disturbing accounts: parents who kill their daughters – in utero or shortly after birth – to avoid the dreaded dowry, brides set on fire for not bringing in adequate or additional dowry, some of them harassed to the point of taking their own lives.

A week after my relationship ended, I made a commitment to continue my research and write a book about my findings. I spent the next 9-10 months reading everything that I could find in preparation to return to India to gather stories. Once there, I spoke with experts working in the field, with strangers in the street, talked to friends about their experiences, and interviewed a few who were willing to share their story. I will be returning to India in January to further my research and to collect more stories.

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