Friday, June 15, 2012

Read More About Afghanistan

If you're interested in The Watch or have already read it, and you're looking for some more books about Afghanistan here are a few suggestions.

This list is far from exhaustive; these are just some other books I've read about Afghanistan in the last year or so that I think would make great companion pieces to Joydeep Roy-Bhattacharya's brilliant novel.

The Photographer, by Emannuel Guibert and Didier LeFevre is an outstanding blend of photography and graphic narration of a trip that photographer LeFevre took deep into the Afghan countryside with Doctors Without Borders. LeFevre's photographs and Guibert's drawings are unforgettable, most especially the photographs. This book will take you places few of us will ever see with our own eyes, and the story- tense, suspenseful and harrowing- brings you into the heart of the chaos and beauty of this country.

From the heart of a landscape to the heart of a woman, Atiq Rahimi's masterful short novel The Patience Stone, winner of the French Prix Goncourt, brings us inside a fractured culture. It takes place entirely in one room, where a woman cares for her nearly comatose husband, injured in an unknown war. She remembers her childhood and girlhood while dealing with this crisis and navigating an uncertain future.
Rahimi's followup is the equally wonderful though very different Earth and Ashes, this time about a man searching for his grandson after their village has been bombed. It's more plot-oriented than The Patience Stone but carries just as much emotional resonance.

Finally, there's Daniele Mastrogiacomo's chilling and unforgettable Days of Fear, a memoir about the 15 days he spent held captive by the Taliban. It's an unbelievable document, an trip into the heart of evil written by a man who I think knows how lucky he is to have escaped. This is a book that will keep you up at night reading- and remembering.

Like I said, just a few things I've read that I think would go well with The Watch. If you're looking for history, books about the current or earlier Afghan war, biographies or other fiction or nonfiction, I'm sure your local independent bookseller or librarian can help you find something great.

What are your favorite reads about this country? Fiction? Nonfiction? Anything in between?


Sandy Nawrot said...

Just ordered The Photographer and Days of Fear from the library. I cannot resist, especially a book that is part graphic novel part photos. Irresistable.

Ryan said...

I like novels set in Afghanistan. I've read a few, though none of the ones you have listed above. My all time favorite is Flashman by George MacDonald Fraser. What a romp!

Sam (Tiny Library) said...

Thanks for posting this - I love to read about other countries but haven't read much about Afghanistan.