Author: Feryal Ali Gauhar
Publisher: Kali/Women Unlimited
ISBN/UPC (if available): 8188965316
It’s September, 2002, one year after 9/11 and the US invasion of Afghanistan. A U.S. army medical technician captive by Afghan rebels while on a recce mission, and thrown into an asylum with a dozen or so other inmates. Are they refugees from the war? Derelicts? Fugitives on the run? Men and women mad with grief and loss, or just exhausted by the repeated violation of their country?
This astonishingly powerful novel unfolds the tragedy of Afghanistan, as told by the captive narrator, in hauntingly beautiful prose. As the characters try to cope with their individual destinies in the asylum’s compound, the terrible madness of war is counterpointed with the poignancy of their lives and the narrator’s own peculiar predicament-the “victor” now a victim, his ambivalence a metaphor for everything Afghanistan symbolizes. In a stunning denouement the author makes clear that there is no winning this war, there is only ravaged country and those who manage to survive its insanity.