In this interview with Kurdish writer and journalist, Ava Homa, we discuss how writing has helped her throughout her life whether in Kurdistan or in exile, as well as her debut novel "Daughters of Smoke and Fire"
Ms Homa says writers in exile may not get the support they need to continue their writing mission, and many barriers can get in the way, however she believes it is not impossible to succeed and accomplish writing dreams.
The Kurdish writer is about to publish her debut novel "Daughters of Smoke and Fire", which she has been working on for nearly 10 years. The story in this book is inspired by the late Kurdish teacher, writer, poet and human rights activist, Ferzad Kamanger, who was executed by the Islamic Republic of Iran in 2010.
"I consider Ferzad as my teacher, although I had never met him, but he taught me a great deal, and what he taught me is that; for a nation like ours, we have no time to think about obstacles, we can only focus and direct our energy on how we can continue our resistance..." Ava explains.
Ava Homa, hopes that her book can help readers all around the world, to better understand the Kurdish culture, as well as struggle.
"I have been able to connect with places and writers from countries that I cannot visit, or if I do visit, I will not be able to fully understand their culture and way of life during a visit, in the way which I have been able to through books... I wish that my novel can also serve the same purpose, for those that are interested in Kurds and Kurdistan," she says.
Ms Homa's first book was published in 2010, which consists of a collection of short stories. The book was nominated for the 2011 Frank O'Connor International Short Story Prize, the biggest short fiction prize at the time.
Ava Homa is based in Los Angels, California, and she is originally from East Kurdistan (Rojhellat/Iran).