Alex Poppe’s characters celebrate the fragile grandeur of living an independent life in the aftermath of violence. Deeply rooted in place, these stories are about identity, hope, and redemption as fierce and flawed women rebuild their lives in the wake of war. The young women sparking through these pages are surprising, funny, and devastating: the essence of womanhood.
The title piece, “Jinwar,” is a funny, yet heartbreaking story of an American woman who survived rape in the military, was denied due process, and found herself selling lunches from a truck shaped like a hot dog. In the evenings, she turned on the news to see the Kavanaugh hearings on every channel. Her struggle to rebuild her life takes her across the globe to the Middle East, to Jinwar, an all-female village in Rojava, northeastern Syria. Here, survivors of war, patriarchy, and genocide un-make violence and search for ways to heal.