Get more behind the heartbreaking headlines from Afghanistan these past few weeks with two great books set in the country that give the reader a sense of what the reality is like there, particularly for women.
Gayle Tzemach Lemmon (nonfiction, Harper Perennial)
Former ABC journalist Gayle Tzemach Lemmon tells the true story of Kamila Sidiqi and her family after the Taliban’s rise to power in the mid 1990s. Determined to make a living for herself and her family in spite of the many restrictions imposed on women, Sidiqi started sewing and didn’t look back — until she had built a mini clothes-making empire, employing neighborhood women against all odds. The story will make you cheer, all the more so given recent headlines: Kamila, who eventually became a British citizen and left Afghanistan, had been visiting the country this summer when the government collapsed. She was able to escape on a private jet bound for Switzerland.
Nadia Hashimi (fiction, William Morrow)
It is Kabul 1978 and Sitara Zamani has spent a happy childhood of privilege and luxury. The capital under progressive President Sardar Daoud is a cosmopolitan city, and her beloved father is Daoud’s trusted right-hand man. But this way of life comes to an abrupt and violent end when the communists stage a coup and assassinate the president, along with Sitara’s entire family. Smuggled out of the palace by a guard who takes pity on her, Sitara manages to find her way to the apartment of an American diplomat who ends up raising her — and bringing her to America. There, she is given a new name, Aryana, and a brand new life even as the old one keeps its painful grip on her. Thirty years after the coup, Aryana, now a doctor, is stunned when a man walks into her examination room. It is the guard from the palace — and there’s a good chance he is the one who murdered her family.
Credit: Source link