This image is the cover for the book Sand Queen

Sand Queen

This novel of female friendship in the midst of war is “The Things They Carried for women in Iraq” (The Boston Globe).

Nineteen-year-old Kate Brady joined the army to bring honor to her family and to the Middle East. Instead, she finds herself in a forgotten corner of the Iraq desert in 2003, guarding a makeshift American prison. There, Kate meets Naema Jassim, an Iraqi medical student whose father and little brother have been detained in the camp.

Kate and Naema promise to help each other, but the war soon strains their intentions. Like any soldier, Kate must face the daily threats of combat duty, but as a woman, she is in equal danger from the predatory men in her unit. Naema suffers bombs, starvation, and the loss of her home and family. As the two women struggle to survive and hold on to the people they love, each comes to have a drastic and unforeseeable effect on the other’s life.

From the author of Wolf Season and The Lonely Soldier, and informed by numerous interviews with those who were there, Sand Queen is a “heartbreaking, vivid story of the particular difficulties of being not just a soldier, but a female soldier” (Bustle).

Helen Benedict

Helen Benedict, a Columbia University professor, has written four previous novels, five nonfiction books, and a play. Her novels have received citations for best book of the year from the Los Angeles Times and the Chicago and New York Public Libraries.

Soho Press, Inc.