Written by Shazia Majid
Genre: Nonfiction, Asia, Feminism
Original Language: Norwegian
Ut av skyggene is the first comprehensive story of non-western immigrant women who migrated to Norway during the early 1970's. The book won the Booksellers best non-fiction award for 2020, and has been short listed for two other prestigious literary awards in Norway: The Brageprisen for best non-ficion in 2019. And the The Norwegian Literary Critics Award. The Norwegian-Pakistani award winning investigative journalist starts off by researching her own family history. Her research leads her to writing a comprehensive, in-depth account of the «other women» in Norwegian society. Painstaking, time-consuming, she sifts through the national archives for stories of the migrant woman. She does so with finesse and sensitivity. Traits otherwise denied to migrant women in the public discourse portraying them as helpless, the weak and incapable of agency. In an age of instantly delivered fake news and distorted historical narratives, the book is an anchor of quiet reflection, admirable characters and flawless prose. This book embraces the general while sweeping away the vast generalisations that have coloured debate in the national media. Furthermore the individual is revered as a high achieving member of society who has made vast contributions to the national exchequer. Shazia’s own story is compelling as is that of the family matriarch who against all odds raises 5 accomplished daughters. In depth interviews add substance to this brilliantly researched book. An important behind the scenes narrative that clearly illustrates how instant journalism colours current discourse and a book best described as significant, important and necessary. Norway has been shaped by women of ALL colours. And in the fight for gender equality, homes are an important battleground. And so these silent women are finally out of the shadows and history has been made.