Author(s): Maria Toorpakai
'Armed with a squash racket and enormous will, Maria Toorpakai has risen from the turmoil of tribal life in Pakistan to become not only a world-class athlete, but a true inspiration, a pioneer for millions of other women struggling to pave their own paths to autonomy, fulfilment and genuine personhood' Khaled Hosseini, author of The Kite Runner Maria Toorpakai Wazir has lived her life disguised as a boy, defying the Taliban, in order to pursue her love of sport. Coming second in a national junior weightlifting event for boys, Maria decided to put her future in her own hands by going in disguise. When she discovered squash and was easily beating all the boys, life became more dangerous. Heart-stopping and profoundly moving, Maria shares the story of her long road and eventual triumph, pursuing the sport she loved, defying death threats and following her dream.
A powerful memoir about a young Pakistani girl who, until the age of twelve, was disguised as a boy so she could compete in sports.
It's hard enough to become the best in the world at anything. It's even harder when people want to kill you just for trying. -- Mary Carillo - NBC Sports A vivid personal account of a courageous young woman standing up to one of the world's most oppressive theocracies -- Kirkus Reviews Beyond Brave -- Sunday Express A remarkably vivid book -- Herald Scotland
Born in 1990 to a Pashtun family in South Waziristan, a tribal region bordering Afghanistan, Maria is currently ranked fifty-fourth in the world and is Pakistan Number One at squash. The only way Maria could play sport as a girl was to disguise herself as a boy. When her gender was eventually revealed in order for her to train professionally in squash, Maria and her family received death and kidnap threats, as her actions were perceived as 'un-Islamic'. The Pakistani national squash federation provided security for her home and training venue, but Maria decided it was a safer option to seek an opportunity to train internationally. Maria lives and trains in Toronto, Canada, under former professional squash player Jonathon Power.
* Chapter - 1: Prologue* Chapter - 2: Between the Mountains* Chapter - 3: The Mullah* Chapter - 4: An Unlikely Bride* Chapter - 5: Genghis Khan* Chapter - 6: Bhutto's Muse* Chapter - 7: The Wall* Chapter - 8: the City of Guns* Chapter - 9: Deities, Temples and Angels* Chapter - 10: Out of the Tribal Lands* Chapter - 11: The Capital of Empires* Chapter - 12: I Am Maria* Chapter - 13: Playing Like a Girl* Chapter - 14: Smoking Scorpions* Chapter - 15: Rupees for My Mother* Chapter - 16: The Giver of Treasure* Chapter - 17: Number One* Chapter - 18: In the Crosshairs* Chapter - 19: Purdah* Chapter - 20: Breakbone Fever* Chapter - 21: Liberty Bell* Chapter - 22: Epilogue: One Thousand Marias* Acknowledgements - 23: Acknowledgments* Chapter - 24: About the Authors* Chapter - 25: A Letter about MariaToorpakai.org