If you are a regular to the Bitten by Books site, you may notice that the usual rating system was not used for this review. There are two reasons for that. First, while the tombstone rating system is done tongue in cheek because of the types of books we normally review here, I did not feel that it was at all appropriate in this case. Also, we simply do not have a high enough rating to give.
Bitten By Books was asked to take on a special review and I have the honor of writing it. Knowing the subject matter and the importance of the project, I admit to being more than a little apprehensive about reading this and writing a review worthy of it. This book is far from paranormal although I deeply wish that the inspiration for it could qualify as some sort of a twisted alien concept far removed from the reality in which we live.
Nothing But Red is a collection of artwork, poetry and short stories relating to or about violence against women and was inspired by a real person and her horribly indescribable death. On April 7, 2007, Du’a Khalil Aswad was stoned, beaten and kicked to death in a so called honor killing. Her crime? She was seen in the company of a boy of a different religion. She was seventeen years old. She (and so many others like her) is the inspiration for this anthology organized by Skyla Dawn Cameron. The profits from this book are strictly for charity and will go to Equality Now, an international women’s charity.
As I said, the contents of Nothing But Red vary in form. Some are simple but thought provoking sketches, drawings or paintings, some are poems, others are short stories and still others are open letters to world leaders and even Miss Aswad herself. Each piece somehow describes the stories of women in situations that no one should ever be in but yet happen on a daily basis around the world. Some are dark, some are hopeful in their own way and some even manage to find a bit of humor and light within the darkness. The settings range from far off places that no one hears about, to a house on a city street in America that could be next door to you. Though the event that inspired this book is one of cultural and/or religious influence, violence and prejudice against women happen in every culture, every religion and every country on this planet and the stories reflect that fact.
Nothing But Red, while sometimes dark and horrifying, is an extremely powerful and exceptional piece of work. Please do not think, though, that every story in this book is violent or that it contains nothing positive or hopeful. There are many contributions that tell of strong women who are determined to get out of their situation, to be free and live. There is hope contained within the pages of this very eloquent book just as I believe that there is hope for women of the world. The fact that this book even exists is, to me, is definite proof of that.
Electronic and Print copies of Nothing But Red are available for purchase here.
To learn more about this book visit this blog.
Contributor’s to this work can be found here.