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Atia Abawi Books In Order

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Secret Sky (2014) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
A Land of Permanent Goodbyes (2018) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Atia Abawi is an Arab-American author. She worked as a television journalist for many years before finally making the transition to novels. Abawi writes young adult fiction.

She hopes that both young and adult readers will enjoy her work.

+Biography
Atia Abawi was born in Germany where her parents, Afghan refugees ended up after fleeing the Soviet Union’s invasion of Afghanistan.

She was raised in the United States from where she attended Virginia Tech. Atia Abawi was quite young when she decided that she wanted to become a journalist.

The author manifested this determination by becoming her local college TV Station (VTTV) anchor. The position gave Abawi her first official foray into the field of journalism.

At CTV 76, a local Largo, MD TV station, she continued to hone her reporting skills by investigating and covering everything from politics to drug addiction.

Her star did not begin to truly shine until she joined CNN. There she proved her mettle in the Media Operations Department. Abawi made a pit stop at the International Desk before finally venturing out into the field.

Abawi was in the thick of the action when events like the assignation of Benazir Bhutto happened. By the time she helped configure CNN’s Kabul bureau, the author was a seasoned veteran with a reputation for delivering hard-hitting journalism.

Abawi more than earned her stripes. The work she did saw Abawi accompany US-NATO forces and Afghan soldiers on their operations. She also became intimately acquainted with the local population.

This was on top of building a rapport with both American and Afghan politicians and generals.

Atia Abawi spent a significant portion of her career on the move. If she wasn’t in Iraq or Afghanistan, then the author was off to Myanmar where she had to sneak into the country to cover the trial of Aung San Suu Kyi.

Some of her journalistic efforts were actually deployed on behalf of NBC News who hired her in 2010 to oversee their work in Afghanistan.

She covered the assassination of Osama Bin Laden, interviewed President Hamid Karzai in 2012 and followed President Obama’s historic trip to Palestine.

With years of experience behind her, Atia Abawi eventually sat down to produce fiction inspired by the people she had met and the events she had covered during her long career.

Her debut novel, ‘The Secret Sky’, told the story of forbidden love in Afghanistan between two people from disparate tribes.

Abawi, who speaks Dari and Darsi fluently, has won accolades such as ‘The George Foster Peabody Award’ for her writing.

The author is married to Conor Powell, a former Fox News reporter.

+Literary Career
As a school girl, Atia Abawi was always visiting the library. She loved discovering and reading old books, specifically titles that had been written centuries earlier.

The author was also drawn to books that took place in different parts of the world. Abawi eventually realized that she loved fiction because it had the capacity to transport her to places that she had never visited.

So when she decided to write fiction, she hoped that she could achieve the same feat.

Abawi knew very early on that she wanted to pursue journalism. But she also dreamed of writing her own novels.

Unfortunately, the fast pace of journalism meant that she could never find the time to make her publishing dreams a reality. And after a while, she was simply too preoccupied with the grim reality of the wars she covered in the countries where she was stationed to tolerate thoughts of producing fiction.

Eventually, the dream faded altogether. But that is what the author’s career called for.

To write fiction, one requires a lot of imagination and color. And those two aspects were incongruous with the demands of journalism.

As a journalist, it was Atia Abawi’s job to report the facts. There was no place for fantasy or creativity.

Abawi’s foray into fiction writing wasn’t planned. Jill Santopolo, an editor, read a New York Times article which followed teenagers in Afghanistan who had fallen in love.

Jill wanted someone to write a YA novel inspired by that story. So reached out to a friend of Abawi who also reached out to some of the people she knew who had lived in Afghanistan.

Abawi realized that she was best placed to write the story because she had actually met young Afghans who fell in love and then had to fight just to stay together.

So she reignited her publishing dreams and wrote ‘The Secret Sky’. That, in turn, opened the door for the author to write even more fiction.

The stories Atia Abawi writes are inspired by her experiences. She has seen a lot of misery and suffering in the Middle East. But she has also seen hope and happiness.

And while she was afforded the opportunity to cover all those stories as a reporter, the field of journalism often restricted her exploration to a few hundred words.

Abawi found that, with her novels, she could really dig into the issues that were closest to her heart.

+The Secret Sky
Fatima and Samiullah are in love but that doesn’t matter because they can never be together.

As a Hazara girl, Fatima’s first duty is to her traditions and religion. She is expected to stand in a place of obedience.

As a Pashtun boy, Saimullah was raised to become a landowner who would give his blood, sweat, and tears to strengthen the family’s fortunes, not to mention protecting the traditions of his village.

If Fatima and Saimullah are to follow their hearts, they must fight everyone they hold dear.

+A Land of Permanent Goodbyes
Even when his country was being torn apart by war, Tareq could still find sanctuary and tranquility in the arms of his loving family. But then the bombs fell and their city was decimated and Tareq’s family realized that they had no future left.

So they packed what they could, put Syria in the rearview mirror and began a journey that took them through Turkey to Greece.

Alone and destitute, the refugees must now overcome unfathomable odds to find a new home.

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