"But what he, the writer, is asking, is impossible. Why should... there be anyone else who comprehends what he is trying to do?"
This quote comes from Doris Lessing's 1971 introduction to her magnificent novel, "The Golden Notebook," which I am currently reading.
It struck a chord with me because I recently received a letter from a Muslim man -- a Pakistani Muslim -- who does, indeed, comprehend what I have tried to do with "The Jewel of Medina."
We posted his letter on my website, http://www.authorsherryjones.com, with his permission. "I’m honored and proud that I have said the truth and truth must be told," he responded when I asked.
After all the controversy and criticism over a novel whose purpose has always been to make a positive difference in the world, his letter reads as a balm to my soul. I'm sharing it with you, writer to writer, because I'm guessing that you, too, have received responses to your work by people who "get it." And isn't it a genuine thrill?
Asalamalakum (Peace to you)
My name is (name withheld for privacy) and I live in (location withheld for privacy), Pakistan, and I am a Muslim.
After reading your book "The Jewel of Medina" and exploring your website and reading your interviews and discussion forums I come to the conclusion that you are a beautiful person and I respect you a lot. You are a heroic figure to me because you have presented such a beautiful image of prophet Mohamed (Peace be Upon Him) as a leader and most importantly as a husband to his wives. This book of yours is so beautiful that it will give a voice to the Muslims regarding the treatment of women, which will be very helpful in portraying a very positive image of Islam in the west. You being a white American Christian and yet you have written this book as a masterpiece in Islam's favor.
I also would like to apologize on behalf of some stupid, Idiot and illiterate Muslims who have criticized this book without even reading it. They are so dumb to realize that this book is actually in favor of Islam. You have honored Islam and Prophet Mohamed (Peace be Upon Him). I thank You Ms Jones for such a wonderful work and especially you have presented a very beautiful image of Islam.
May Allah Bless you!
Your Biggest Fan,
(name withheld for privacy)
P.S. Sherry means a lioness in urdu and you have proven that.
Causes Sherry Jones Supports
ACLU, Save Our Wild Salmon, Greenpeace, Spokane Mother and Children's Free Restaurant, Mercy Fund, public radio, Slow Food USA