One More Mountain
Deborah Ellis works as a mental health residential counsellor in Toronto. She is the winner of the Governor General’s Award in Canada (equivalent to the Carnegie Medal) for her first novel Looking for X.
She was raised in Paris, Ontario, and from the time she was 17, she has been a political activist advocating non-violence. After high school, she went to Toronto and worked in the Peace Movement. Later she got involved in the Women’s Movement, focusing on women’s rights and economic justice.
Deborah has spent much time in Pakistan, in Afghan refugee camps, talking to women and documenting their lives under 20 years of war. Her main engagement continues to be anti-war politics.
Deborah has written four novels about a 12-year-old girl, Parvana, living under Taliban rule in Afghanistan and the challenges that she and her family face. The fourth book, My Name is Parvana, is set against the American invasion and is a period of cautious hope.
Since the American withdrawal and the subsequent takeover of Afghanistan by the Taliban, Deborah has been compelled to write a fifth novel about Parvana, One More Mountain. She joins Nikki Gamble In the Reading Corner to tell us more about it and her involvement with the women and children of Afghanistan.
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It’s 2021, and the Taliban have regained power in Afghanistan. Parvana and Shauzia, the brave protagonists of The Breadwinner, must now flee to escape new dangers from an old enemy. It has been 20 years since Parvana and Shauzia had to disguise themselves as boys to support themselves and their families.
But when the Taliban were defeated in 2001, it looked as if Afghans could finally rebuild their country. Many things have changed for Parvana since then. She has married Asif, whom she met in the desert as she searched for her family as a child.
She runs a school for girls. She has a son, Rafi, who is about to fly to New York, where he will train to become a dancer. While Asif tries to get Parvana’s sister, Maryam, and Rafi on one of the last flights out of Kabul, the Taliban come to the school, and Parvana must lead the girls out of Green Valley into the mountains.