Swallows of Kabul, TheKhadra, Yasmina
Set in Kabul under the rule of the Taliban, this novel takes readers into the lives of two couples: Mohsen who comes from a family of wealthy shopkeepers whom the Taliban have destroyed, and Zunaira, his beautiful wife, once a brilliant teacher who is now no longer allowed to leave home without escort or covering her face. Intersecting their world is Atiq, a prison keeper who has sincerely adopted the Taliban ideology and struggles to keep his faith, and his wife, Musarrat who once rescued Atiq, and is now dying of sickness and despair. The lives of all four protagonists move irrevocably towards their destinies.
Comments from GroupsThe general feeling was that it was a well written book, but most members got stuck on the grim subject matter. The author certainly got inside the characters and their unbelievably depressing social situation. He gives a "new perspective on Afghanistan, on religious fanaticism and religiopathy." Wellington 123 The amazing descriptions conjured up such realistic images, that the group found they could feel the hopelessness of the situations portrayed in the book. Disturbing. Hamilton 014 Great in depth discussion.We all felt that this was the first book on the "Taliban" subject, that showed the point of view of the men, and that they were just as oppressed as the women in many ways... Matamata 002 Disturbing and mesmerising was a very good description of this book. It created lots of discussion, especially regarding the place of women in Afghan society. Nelson 001 A harrowing but well-written story. One can almost feel the heat and the filth....Lower Hutt 004 Rather sad and depressing - but makes one grateful for living in a country where women can be themselves, and have dreams and goals they can attain, unhindered by the state. Palmerston North 024