In Forest Falls, Calif., 12-year-old Kara Jackson walked into her family's kitchen and found a bear had wandered inside. Home alone, and lacking a weapon, Jackson clapped as loudly as she could, and scared off the bear.
I first came across Sultana's Dream while doing research for a novel set in Bangladesh. I had traveled to Dhaka, the capital city, and stumbled on the Liberation War museum, where my visit coincided with an exhibition on the story.
I became fascinated by the life of its author, Rokeya Sakhawat Hossain, when I learned that, like me, she had been raised by a progressive Muslim family and actively encouraged to seek an education.