The Pearl That Broke Its Shell

The Pearl That Broke Its Shell

An International Bestseller

“A tender and beautiful family story. Her always engaging multigenerational tale is a portrait of Afghanistan in all of its perplexing, enigmatic glory, and a mirror into the still ongoing struggles of Afghan women.”

A luminous tale of two women, destiny, and identity in Afghanistan. With a drug-addicted father and no brothers, Rahima becomes a bacha posh, a girl dressed as a boy. She gains freedoms that were previously unimaginable… freedom that transforms her forever. A century earlier, her orphaned ancestor Shekiba saved herself and built a new life in the same way—the change took her from a rural village to the opulence of a king’s palace in bustling Kabul. Crisscrossing in time, The Pearl That Broke Its Shell interweaves the stories of two remarkable women who are separated by a century but share the same courage and dreams… Continue »

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The Author

Nadia Hashimi
Nadia Hashimi is an author and pediatrician of Afghan descent. The Pearl That Broke Its Shell is her first novel… Continue »

Upcoming Events

  • Enoch Pratt Library, Baltimore MD | January 21, 2015
  • A Moveable Feast, Winston-Salem North Carolina | January 25, 2015
  • Mid-Winter ALA Conference, Chicago IL | February 1, 2015
  • First Year Experience, Dallas TX| February 9, 2015
  • Historical Fiction Author Panel, Boston MA | February 19, 2015


“A fascinating look at the unspoken lives of Afghani women, separated by generations and miles, yet achingly similar. This is the story to transport you and make you think.”

– Shilpi Somaya Gowda, New York Times bestselling author of Secret Daughter

A lyrical, heartbreaking account of silenced lives.”

– Kirkus Reviews

The Pearl That Broke Its Shell…is one that will stay with me. I read long into the night to finish it…”