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My Feudal Lord: A Devastating Indictment of Women's Role in Muslim Society Mass Market Paperback – February 1, 1996


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Editorial Reviews

Review

"'An extraordinary story'" The Sunday Times "'Riveting...one of the many remarkable qualities of Durrani's story is her total frankness...she emerges as a woman to be admired'" The Age, Melbourne

About the Author

A member of one of Pakistani's most influential families, Tehmina Durrani decided to write this book about they way women are treated in Pakistan after leaving her husband Mustafa Khar. In the writing of My Feudal Lord, Tehmina Durrani worked with William Hoffer, author of Midnight Express and co-author of Betty Mahmoody's Not Without My Daughter.
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Corgi Books; Reprint edition (February 1, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0552142395
  • ISBN-13: 978-0552142397
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.9 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #794,779 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 9, 1997
Format: Paperback
Though not very well written, this book does not fail to disgust and numb me. The startling revelations made by Mustafa Khar's wife, Tehmina, are almost too horrifying to believe. However, surprisingly, this battered wife who claims to have suffered so much pain does not evoke any sympathy from me which I believe she tried to seek. The story is about a pakistani politician who brutally abused his wives, who wrongfully used Islamic law to his advantage and at the same time committed sins such as adultary, and even conducted an affair with his wife's sister. However, Tehmina herself got involved with Mustafa Khar while she was still married and she also broke up Mustafa Khar's marriage with his former wife. The book does not arouse as much curiosity as it should, and towards the end begins to command even less attention from the reader. The book does not deserve more than a 5
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Rachel H. Nicholson on March 23, 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
This book was the first recommended to me by a male friend in Pakistan when I visited there last year. Although not a new bestseller, it provides context for understanding Pakistan. Beware--it is not upbeat, but I found it thoroughly enlightening and helpful.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
When first released it was scandalous, par excellence phenomena and felt incredibly true and Durrani was considered extremely brave for divulging extremely personal, even humiliating details of her married life. Mind you, this is Pakistan right after the Zia years and the book detailed a sexual affair that leads to marriage and sexual humiliation at the hands of the feudal husband and it understandably rocked the conservative Pakistan. But it was the first book of it's kind about a major political figure and to date that stands true.

Mustafa Khar is often called the male 'Elizabeth Taylor' (which frankly is derogatory to the legendary actress - atleast she married because she was spoilt and in love! No one can lay that claim on Khar saahib, his 7th wife was 40 years his junior or something) and my mom's interpretation of his behavior as governor during Bhutto years in the rocking hillbilly chaotic 70s is not too complementary either ("women were abducted and brought to Governor House for him to rape", "he put one wife, former air hostess, in a basement, she was never seen again") - basically he was known as a lothario / sex fiend and when I read this extraordinary book in 90s, I was irritated more by Durrani's consistently bad behavior before and after her marriage than the crazy feudal landlord.

Their romance begins as all affairs do: clandestine, amongst protestations from Khar's then-wife that Khar is not a nice guy - remarks totally ignored by a spoilt flippant beautiful social butterfly Durrani who was herself married at the time - and promptly eloped leaving her kid with the first husband. Even the final write-up looks like the middle finger Durrani could give from arm's length.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By "pc2pc" on June 25, 1998
Format: Paperback
The events of Tehmina Durrani's life only confirms, but to a much worse degree, what we talked in class and read about family violence, especially spousal abuse. It is one of the most potential threat(s?) to the survival of mankind. In Pakistan, the violence can over spill in the form of family feuds.
In my view, the best way to combat against this violence is for the battered to take stand and for the society to support him or her. Society as a whole resents such violence. Another important thing we need to do is educate ourselves more about the needs and desires of our partners in the family context. Only through good understanding can we eliminate this immoral behavior.
The second issue I would like to touch upon is how women are treated in Pakistan. This behavior has its roots in history. There was a time when society considered the birth of a girl a crime by her mother. The signs of this treatment are felt in an Eastern expression, "You are a true father only when you have a daughter." Instead of considering her a blessing from God just like boys, she is considered a burden the father has to carry for the rest of his life, even after she is married.
If a girl is born in poverty, she is destined to become a servant one day, that of her mother or her husband. In educated households, girls are better off but never considered equal to boys. Therefore, the treatment they receive is often unfair: they rarely have the same opportunities when it comes to education, employment or marriage.
In the rural areas of Pakistan, where the feudal system still prevails, this situation is ten times worse. Even educated feudal lords do not allow education to enter the flourishing minds of their daughters for fear of rebellion, or the nourishment of new, threatening ideas.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Meg on May 12, 2002
Format: Paperback
This book is about Tehmina Durrani's life as an oppressed wife of a feudal lord, and politician in Pakistan. My Feudal Lord covers her adult life from 1974 to 1994. Tehmina's unique writing style of nothing but the truth, even if it is hard to bare, is what makes this book such an amazing read. The abuse and the pain that Tehmina went through for thirteen years is unbelievable, she truly is a women of great strength and bravery. This story unravels many complicated issues that Tehmina had to deal with, and it revealed the true character of Mustafa Khar. Tehmina Durrani wrote this book to break the "traditional silence" that is expected of divorced women in Pakistan. She is the first women in Pakistan to write the truth about Pakistan's parliament, feudal system, Islamic beliefs, and women's rights. This book caused further problems with her family, whom she has decided to disown and disinherit, along with the Pakistani peoples belief about their political leaders. Women's rights is a major problem in many countries, Pakistan being one of them, hopefully this book will make people more aware of this constant problem... like it has done for me.
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