Book Review: I am Yours
Bangladeshi author and actress Reema Zaman enters a creative world by exploring how she ended up in this place and time. This book allows her to explore her beginnings and her nows.
While labeled as a memoir, the book begins from her birth to the decision in writing the said self-biography. It’s curious to learn her upbringings and how she ended up in the U.S.
“Through each incident, I recorded my truth only to have my truth, my story, my value denied in this midst by the people around me,” Zaman shared with open honesty in a video posted on her website, reemazaman.com. “It’s a way to provide a way of healing and love.”
She explored each relationship throughout her life, including her father and one between her mother and father. Some parts of the book are hard to read, especially the sections of violence and rape. Writing the book allowed her to explore inner parts of her. It was a way to release some emotional tensions, pent-up concerns and irreconcilable problems.
The writing is described as poetic, sing song and lyrical. It’s soothing and feels like a gentle wind blowing on timbre reeds. Once you watch Zaman on video or listen to her podcasts, you’ll understand how the vivid descriptions used throughout the memoir. It’s like being the “fly on the wall.”
Other interesting parts of the book is telling the South Asian patriarchal system, one of her father’s lay of the land in the family life. Readers will cheer for Zaman’s mother as she escapes this life and begins one of her own. Readers will follow Zaman from childhood to teenager to young adulthood. While subtle, the voices in each age are distinctive.
It’s not just “someone’s life.” This book brings up bold themes of life, love, family, dreams, heartbreak, and healing. Anyone can relate to some, if not all the themes, covered in the memoir. Zaman is on the watch list of up and coming authors. Pick up her book if want to be enchanted and bewitched during a rainy-type of reading day.
To speak is a revolution. All throughout the human story, through the most intimate acts of erasure, women have been silenced. Now, women everywhere are breaking through the limits placed on us by family, society, and tradition. Beginning in Bangladesh and moving to Thailand, New York, and finally, Oregon, I Am Yours, is about Reema’s fight to protect and free her voice from those who have sought to silence her, for the sake of creating a world where all voices are welcome and respected. Because the voice, without intimacy, will atophy. We’re in this together. You are mine, and I am yours.
I Am Yours is the first English-language memoir written by a woman from Bangladesh that explores the intersection of personal and political with such clarity and power. Now more than ever, Reema’s story of resilence and radical self-love is a spiritual guide to hearing from trauma and a vital call to action for all of us to free our own voices.
Reema Zaman is an award-winning writer, speaker, actress, and author of the critically acclaimed memoir I Am Yours. I Am Yours has been adopted into the curriculum of several high schools through an Innovation Grant from the Oregon Board of Education. Reema’s work has appeared in Vogue, Ms., The Guardian, Salon, Guernica, Longreads, and Shape. She is currently partnering with the International Rescue Committee and Girls Inc. to serve crucial causes and empower the next generation of leaders.
Born in Bangladesh and raised in Thailand, she currently lives in Oregon. As the only Reema Zaman in the world, she is easy to find on social media. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter and learn more at reemazaman.com.