Photo: Tine Harden


The Ground Under My Mother’s Feet
(Jorden under min mors fødder)
Published 2021, 320 pages


People's Press

Foreign rights:

Jakob Malling Lambert, 


The Ground Under My Mother’s Feet

A very deep wound in the family.

Zeinab doesn’t follow the rules for how a good Muslim girl should behave. She’s thrown off the scarf and wants to party and hang out with her friends. Accordingly, as a 16-year-old she’s sent on a re-education trip to her extended family in Iraq. After five months in Iraq she manages to escape back home to Denmark.

Her relationship to her parents is in ruins. But gradually, mother and daughter re-establish contact. Zeinab burns with questions for her mother that she simply must have the answers to. She wants to understand her mother’s actions and the depth of the wound in their relationship.

The mother’s, Sohad’s, life story paints the picture of an Iraqi woman and offers rare insights into the brutal Iraqi parallel-society in Denmark, where judgment and honor are essential to a family’s reputation.

About the author 

Zeinab Mosawi, b. 1995, is an Iraqi-born writer. In 2018 she published The Sky Over My Father’s Roof (Himlen over min fars tag) about her wild adolescence and her re-education trip to Iraq.

Text translated by Sharon Rhodes