On Wednesday evening, Phil Klay’s Redeployment won the National Book Award for fiction, making it the first short story collection to win the award since Andrea Barrett’s Ship Fever in 1996. That’s 18 years. But what’s maybe more startling is that the collection, which takes multiple perspectives of people involved in and returning from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, stands nearly alone as a fictional account that has risen to the national level of attention since the war in Afghanistan began in 2003....more
Posts Tagged: Afghanistan
It is simple math—if she is caught, no one eats. And every day she fears discovery. All that Niima is ordered to do, she does very quickly.
I lost my photo. Part of it, anyway. I lost some of the painless pride of ownership, the selfish satisfaction of creation....more
Her parents, in the past, tried to surrender her to the state, asking the state to force her to go to school. They didn’t want to be held responsible for her any more. Now, it’s Maya who wants to live somewhere else....more
Journalist and novelist Masha Hamilton sits down with Maud Newton to discuss the influences behind her latest book, What Changes Everything, the intricacies of writing about conflict, and how her work in war zones has helped shape her fiction....more
In Kabul, Afghanistan, Oliver Percovich runs an NGO unlike any other: a skateboarding school for kids, called Skateistan.
Interestingly, in a country where girls are generally not allowed to ride bicycles (and are even sometimes attacked for going to school), almost half of Skateistan’s students are female, which this blog post calls “the highest rate of female participation in skateboarding out of any country in the world.”
Rock on, sk8r bois and grrrls....more
With this much self-awareness and meditation, residents such as myself tend to forget – or, rather, concentrate on forgetting – that Encinitas is also a half-marathon’s distance from the Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, which is roughly the size of Rhode Island...more
“On Sept. 11, 1948, my father, Khalilullah Nuristani, was born under the same burden of greatness. In retrospect, he must have believed that he could fulfill what had been his father’s unfulfilled destiny. My father became a tireless fighter for a free Afghanistan.”
Afghan writer Kakail Nuristani compiled photos, letters and documents from his father’s life, working with Adam Klein to tell a fascinating story that spans three-generations....more
The six years Megan Stack spent in the Middle East reporting for the LA Times began as a sort of emergency assignment and ended with Every Man In This Village Is A Liar, her indelible memoir of an education in war and war reporting....more
Good morning! I’m up against a pretty nasty deadline, so blogging might be a bit light today. In the meantime, here’s some links for you from the book blogs.
What is the state of reading among the armed forces in Iraq and Afghanistan?...more
Pop Idol has been widely imitated throughout the world [American Idol here in the states] , but Afghanistan is possibly the only place where the mere existence of a televised, Western-style talent show amounts to a political statement....more
Rory Stewart’s LRB article “the Irresistible Illusion,” analyzes the language current Western leaders use when speaking about Afghanistan. Then he compares it to similar speeches made by others since 1868.
Spoiler: Nothing new has been said in over 140 years.
If anything, according to Stewart, our rhetoric has gotten worse....more