Download A Woman like Her: The Story behind the Honor Killing of a Social Media Star Audiobook

A Woman like Her: The Story behind the Honor Killing of a Social Media Star Audiobook, by Sanam Maher Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Sanam Maher Narrator: Deepti Gupta Publisher: Blackstone Publishing Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: February 2020 ISBN: 9781094151281
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The murder of a Pakistani social media star exposes a culture divided between accelerating modernity and imposed traditional values—and the tragedy of those caught in the middle.

In 2016, Pakistan’s first social media celebrity, Qandeel Baloch, was murdered in a suspected honor killing. Her death quickly became a media sensation. It was both devastatingly routine and breathtakingly brutal, and in a new media landscape, it couldn’t be ignored.

Qandeel had courted attention and outrage with a talent for self-promotion that earned her comparisons to Kim Kardashian—and made her the constant victim of harassment and death threats. Social media and reality television exist uneasily alongside honor killings and forced marriages in a rapidly, if unevenly, modernizing Pakistan, and Qandeel Baloch’s story became emblematic of the cultural divide.

In this deftly reported and artfully told account, Sanam Maher reconstructs the story of Qandeel’s life and explores the depth and range of her legacy from her impoverished hometown rankled by her infamy, to the aspiring fashion models who follow her footsteps, to the Internet activists resisting the same vicious online misogyny she faced. Maher depicts a society at a crossroads, where women serve as an easy scapegoat for its anxieties and dislocations, and teases apart the intrigue and myth-making of the Qandeel Baloch story to restore the humanity of the woman at its center.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “An exemplary work of investigative journalism…delves into the story of a woman as misunderstood in death as in life.”

    New York Times

  • “Unfolds like a thriller, only it’s true…Maher’s investigation of Baloch’s life and death is remarkable: It is not just the story of one rebellious woman but a study of an entire country and culture in collision.”

    Washington Post

  • “This fascinating portrait of Qandeel Baloch, Pakistan’s first big female internet sensation, is also a skillfully reported account of a country in which conservative mores conflict with the pace of social change, and in which women all too often pay the price.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “Maher’s courageous reporting for her first book deserves recognition. She entered into male dominated and often hostile spaces—despite pushback—to pursue the truth behind Baloch’s meteoric rise and tragic fall. The result is a fascinating, richly detailed tribute to the fearlessness with which Baloch pursued her dreams.”

    Shelf Awareness (starred review)

  • “A compelling account of the tragic fate of a creative woman who might have excelled brilliantly in any other milieu.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “Immersive and eye-opening…This deeply researched account illuminates the qualities that made [Baloch] so galvanizing in life as well as death.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “A breakthrough book, A Woman Like Her bracingly illuminates an increasingly global if yet under-covered phenomenon: the tragic collision between the forged selves of social media and the brute realities of ordinary life. It also describes, with rare intimacy, some profound cultural tumult in a society that is largely known for its political dramas.”

    Pankaj Mishra, author of Age of Anger

  • “Sanam Maher has put out the highest caliber of investigative journalism, written with tragedy, poetry, and passion befitting of its subject.”

    Molly Crabapple, author of Drawing Blood

  • “A book about killing that tells us how we live now. Sanam Maher has her ear to the ground and a storyteller’s voice that is intimate and yet soars to the skies.”

    Mohammed Hanif, author of Red Birds

  • “A terrific achievement. Sanam Maher’s sensitive, nuanced portrait restores humanity, in all its complexity, to her subject.”

    Olivia Sudjic, author of Sympathy

  • “Written without judgement, without pandering, without reducing its subject to a stereotype, this book is brilliant and terrifying.”

    Meena Kandasamy, author of When I Hit You

  • “Qandeel was a marvellous blaze…In Sanam Maher’s terrific and necessary book, these flames burn brighter than ever.”

    Sonia Faleiro, author of Beautiful Thing

  • “Only one of Pakistan’s finest young writers could carry weighty themes like honor, fame, and violence with such deliberation and poise.”

    Fatima Bhutto, author of The Runaways

  • A New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice of the Week

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About the Author

Sanam Maher is a journalist who writes about South Asian art and culture, business, politics, religious minorities, and women. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Al Jazeera, and Buzzfeed, among other places. A Woman Like Her is her first book.

About the Narrator

Fluent in Hindi, Urdu, and English, Deepti Gupta has an international career spread across India, Singapore, Pakistan, and the United States. As a narrator she brings an open and curious perspective to the author’s work. As an actress she has earned praise from the New York Times for her performance in the feature film Walkaway, and also stars in Record/Play (a sci-fi love story) which was an official selection at Sundance 2013. Besides working as an actress and voice talent, she also works as a consultant with corporate firms and businesses to help expand and deepen their diversity and inclusion strategies.