Saturday, May 12, 2007

Books about Afghanistan

This was one of my side posts but I've cleaning house, ahem, blog.

West of Kabul, East of New York
by Mir Tamim Ansary: This is the first book about Afghanistan that explained what it's like to be bi-cultural. I felt pure joy and recognition when reading his book.

by M.E. Hirsch: How did she write such a true book and she's not Afghan? I think of her characters like they're my family. Oh, Mangal, Sarah and Tor.

The Great Game
by Peter Hopkirk: A historical analysis of the imperial game played in Afghanistan...dry but my first step in discovering my culture.

Torn Between Two Cultures
by Maryam Qudrat: A strong female voice, exploring being Afghan, female and Muslim in the U.S.

eturn, Afghanistan by Zalmai Ahad: Powerful, stark photographs, helped remind me why I love Afghanistan so much.

Kiterunner by Khaled Hosseini: I leapt into his book and came out in a fog. He drew me into his world so quickly and so completely that it was disconcerting to be out in reality.

Earth and Ashes
by Atiq Rahimi: Spare, strong and beautiful. I think of Dastiguir and weep. All of Afghanistan's suffering is in this spare book.

The Thousand Rooms of Dream and Fear
by Atiq Rahimi: A gift from my cousin and his wife. Melancholy and sweet - he knows Afghanistan well.

The Storyteller's Daughter
by Saira Shah: She's brave, she started to explore Afghanistan at an age where I was just dreaming about it.


chaoyang said...

West of Kabul, East of New York: I picked this one up at random in a book fair in Baltimore a few years ago. Considering how big the Afghan issue was at the time and how many ppl I knew who were personally involved, it's funny that I came across it so accidentally. I wasnt' even with an Afghan connection at the time that I was wandering through the book fair...

I read it. I loved it. I identified with it. It is not just the Afghan story, but also the immigrant story.

Kristin Ohlson said...

I want to read West of Kabul, East of New York again. There was something really interesting in there about (religious) belief that intrigued me for weeks. Great book.

homeinkabul said...

C: I found a universal appeal in his book as well.

K: Yes, that was interesting as well. And how the culture intersected with religion. His youngest brother, who didn't remember Afg, ended up looking for Afg culture on a completely different path. At least, that's how I remember it. I have purchased and lent my book (and never gotten it back) three times. I'm going to buy it again and not let anyone borrow it!