“Unni Wikan puts tough questions to herself and to her readers in this spellbinding, astonishing and courageous account of her personal journey across moral universes. In Honor of Fadime is far more than a eulogy—it is the best case study ever written about the way liberal and illiberal moral communities misunderstand and react to each other in Northern Europe. If murder is defined as a wrongful killing, is an honor killing murder? What precisely makes an honor killing wrong if it is an act of collective defense and a last resort to protect a family from humiliating and socially consequential harms inflicted on it by one of its members? This brilliant book takes us far beyond the ‘banality of evil’ as we arrive at an eye-opening (even if troubling) comprehension of how a morally decent husband and wife come to feel they have no choice but to kill their daughter.”--Richard A. Shweder, University of Chicago
(Richard A. Shweder 2008-01-17)
“[Wikan] plunges the reader into a truly surreal, nightmare world. . . . This is a controlled but harrowing condemnation of an utter anachronism.”
(The Age (Australia)
"Anna Paterson's idiomatic translation of the voices Wikan excerpts . . . and her own ethnographic observations convey the urgency of both the events and the troubling questions raised by Fadime's life and death."
"'The problem is over now,' Fadime's father said after her death. To which one answer is to place such crimes, as Wikan does, under the prism of multiple, shifting, conflicting points of view, to tell the same story over and over again. In her book, everyone's version, including the father's, is told in full."
(Jacqueline Rose London Review of Books
About the Author
Unni Wikan is professor of social anthropology at the University of Oslo, Norway, and is the author of nine books. Her most recent work in English is Generous Betrayal: Politics of Culture in the New Europe, also published by the University of Chicago Press. Anna Paterson is the author of Scotland’s Landscape: Endangered Icon.