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Alex Poppe

Alex Poppe

Jinwar and Other Stories

A collection of short stories about the experience of women in the aftermath of war.

Jinwar and Other Stories is a collection of six short stories from author Alex Poppe about the experiences of young women, following the war in Syria and Iraq. ‘Jinwar’ is the story of a student nurse at a VA Hospital, who has to care for the ex-commanding officer who harassed and raped her. She describes how she was dishonourably discharged from the Marine Corps for reporting the rape, and attempted to take her own life. She goes on to work at a hot dog stand, and several failed jobs later, she works as a volunteer in Jinwar, a women-only, ecological self-sustaining village, to teach women self-defence.

‘Road Trip in War Time’, tells the story of a woman conducting research in Iraq, and a car journey to Erbil with male strangers. ‘V’ is about a Kurdish-American teenager from Oakland who is lonely, isolated and at risk of radicalisation. ‘Kurdistan’ tells the story of a teenager from Tennessee, whose parents fled to the US during the Saddam regime. After both of her parents die, she is sent to Kurdistan to live with her aunt and must learn how to adapt to Kurdish life and culture. ‘Mosul’ is about a woman who helps another woman to run away to a shelter after she is raped by her brother. The women resort to desperate measures, after she becomes pregnant. ‘Ras al-Amud’ tells the story of a nineteen-year-old woman who experiences unimaginable grief following a miscarriage.

Jinwar and Other Stories is an affecting and deeply moving work of fiction by author Alex Poppe, about the aftermath of military conflict in the middle east, and its impact on women and girls. Poppe was compelled to write the book after hearing the stories of survivors of rape in the military. This short story collection shows that women and girls suffer disproportionately during and after war. Existing inequalities are magnified, and social networks are disrupted, making them more vulnerable to gender-based violence, abuse and exploitation. Yet, they show remarkable strength and resilience in conflict situations. While this book is a work of fiction, the experiences of real women ring out from every page.

With sharp and eloquent prose, and carefully considered settings and characters, this is a powerful collection of short stories by Poppe.

Star rating: 5 Stars

Summary: An affecting and deeply moving novel about the aftermath of military conflict in the middle east, and its impact on women and girls.

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