Novelist Amy Logan has always been a bit of a non-conformist. Growing up in a conservative neighborhood in Dallas, Texas, most of her peers spent their summers at tennis camp, but at age 16, Logan bucked the trend to become an Experimenter and headed to Switzerland.
“The Experiment distinctly altered the course of my life,” says Logan. “It gave me the confidence to explore other places, to not be intimidated, the courage to talk to anyone, and to get to know people in depth.”
Logan’s passion for travel and cultural immersion eventually took her to Israel, where she stayed in an Arab community known as the Druze and began a years-long journey researching a controversial topic – honor killings.
According to the UN, there are an estimated 5,000 honor killings against women and girls annually. The real statistic could be three to four times as much, but Logan believes the impact reaches millions. “I thought, how many women and girls are trying to avoid being murdered, enduring a life-long death threat? Really, as many as 800 million women and girls are under constant threat,” she says.
As a recent article published by the International Political Forum explains, Logan’s pursuit for the truth about the origins of honor killings was anything but easy. There was almost a complete lack of existing research on the topic, and the community she visited as well as NGOs, scholars and authors were reluctant to speak with her about a subject considered taboo by millions. However, Logan persisted.
“Nothing could have stopped me from doing this. I had never been so passionate about anything in my life,” says Logan. “I requested and received homestays with several Druze families for research. I would not have had the confidence to do that without my World Learning experience.”
In time, Logan gathered the information she needed to write a novel, The Seven Perfumes of Sacrifice, to draw attention to this human rights issue and help people truly understand what millions of women around the world endure every day – and why.
“You can tell people and they might get it intellectually, but not spiritually or emotionally,” explains Logan. “Fiction has a greater potential for reaching people on the deepest levels of human experience. Through the book I hope that readers will come to understand the worth of being female. I can’t think of a better way to use art.”