Phony Honor Killing?

image Norma Khouri's bestseller Honor Lost (published in Australia where Khouri now lives as Forbidden Love) tells the story of a Jordanian 'honor killing.' Dalia, a young woman, falls in love with a Christian man and is murdered for this transgression by her father in order to defend the 'honor' of the family. It's a shocking story, and Khouri has always insisted that it's entirely true. She claims that she lived in Jordan for many years and personally knew Dalia. But the Sydney Morning Herald has done a lot of investigative work into Khouri's background and is now alleging that Khouri's story is far more fiction than fact. They put it more bluntly: "Norma Khouri is a fake, and so is Forbidden Love." Among their accusations: the Dalia character never existed, and Khouri herself grew up outside of Chicago (contradicting her claims that she grew up in Jordan). Khouri completely denies all these claims, but the editors of the Sydney Morning Herald seem pretty confident that she's a fake, predicting that "Khouri's hoax will take its place in a long Australian tradition of literary fraud, from Ern Malley to Helen Darville-Demidenko."


Posted on Sat Jul 24, 2004


Apparently, the publishers have withdrawn the book from future printing and sales, or something like that. I caught the tail-end of the discussion on the Channel 7 morning news in Sydney.

I think that's way too extreme. Of course it takes away from the raw emotions, if that's what you could call them, that the book creates knowing that it is fiction. However, it's still a good book. Why can it not be re-released as fiction?
Posted by Kaisyn  on  Mon Jul 26, 2004  at  11:35 PM
Perhaps because Khouri has already violated the trust of the public (readers) and her publishers. After all, they sponsored her for an emergency visa based on her claims that she'd been ever-so-persecuted in Jordan. I don't think it's simply a matter of "Oh, we can re-release this as yet another Muslim hating oppressed women veil-ripper," it's a matter of fraud. Although I can't say I'd be very happy about Khouri being shipped back here to America in her state of shame.
Posted by UmmZaid  on  Tue Jul 27, 2004  at  12:10 AM
Sorry, I know it was stupid to base what I said on a news program. I did not hear any mention of an emergency visa because like I said, I heard the tail-end of the discussion that focused nearly entirely on the merit of the book as fiction/non-fiction. I find it rather interesting that they didn't mention anything about the visa, considering Australia's position on illegal immigrants and refugees. I'm better educated now, thank you. Oh, and you can have Khouri back.
Posted by Kaisyn  on  Tue Jul 27, 2004  at  05:14 AM
Khouri may not be telling the truth, but we are talking fiction here, really. I have no doubt this could be true. A few years ago in the Detroit area a father decapitated his teen daughter for straying from her Muslim heritage, in other words, acting like a normal American.
Posted by J koffeman  on  Thu Aug 05, 2004  at  06:44 AM
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