Earlier this year, I received the book GUERRILLA GIRL written by Tara Rai. The book follows the autobiographical story of Rai who hails from the Eastern district of Ilam and her journey when she left school at the age of 15 to join the maoists. Her three months with the maoists may have been short but the book uncovers what happened after being arrested by the Royal Nepal Army, being detained, interrogated and shifted to different prisons. In Rai’s story, you quickly realise that her young age and being a girl acts as her advantage, often getting her out of tricky situations and winning her favours from the enemy. When Tara released her book in Nepal (in Nepali) back in 2010, it became a bestseller with 5000 copies sold within two months.
Whilst the English translation was fine, I would’ve preferred to have read the book in Nepali so I can get a more authentic feel from the writing and the expression. Nonetheless, to have this book in English means that non-Nepali readers as well as readers who prefer to read in English will have the opportunity to gain a deeper insight into the life of a former maoist combatant and her journey.
A girl who early on realised the need for change in an unjust society, Tara’s story is a reason why so many gave up their personal life to take up arms. Her continuous battle and commitment to her ideology makes her story compelling and will have you wondering what else she will go on to do. The Guerrilla Girl : The True Story of a Schoolgirl Caught Up In The Nepalese Civil War makes for a thoughtful quick-read.