A Pomegranate and the Maiden: ($20, 198pp, 6X9″, Print ISBN: 978-1-68114-209-8, EBook ISBN: 978-1-68114-210-4, LCCN: 2015916043, October 2015; Purchase on Amazon or Barnes and Noble): is a multi-faceted re-telling of Homer’s Hymn to Demeter. The many characters speak directly to the reader, presenting multiple perspectives of the same event. Among the voices we hear is that of the mother grieving for her lost child, the daughter struggling for independence, the father who tramples on a mother’s rights, and the lover who resorts to nefarious means to win his beloved. Each perspective is deeply rooted in the character’s psychology and gender. Woven within their narratives are stories familiar to readers of Greek mythology. Against the backdrop of our own culture, which still diminishes the value of motherhood and marginalizes women of all ages, these voices speak to us through the centuries and offer new ways of seeing the world we inhabit.
Tamara Agha-Jaffar has a Ph.D. in English Literature. She has served as a Professor of English, Dean, and Vice President for Academic Affairs. She retired in July 2013. In 2004, she was named Kansas Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation and received its CASE Award for the Advancement of Teaching. In 2010, she received The President’s Call to Service Award for her volunteer work in the community. Her previous books are Demeter and Persephone: Lessons from a Myth (McFarland 2002) and Women and Goddesses in Myth and Sacred Texts (Longman 2004). Tamara lives in Kansas with her husband of thirty-eight years. They are the proud parents of a physician and an attorney, and the grandparents of a delightful young man who has just advanced to the class of Toddler Two. A Pomegranate and the Maiden is her first novel. Tamara can be found online at tamaraaghajaffar.com.