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The Swallows of Kabul by Yasmina Khadra

The Swallows of Kabul (original 2002; edition 2005)

by Yasmina Khadra, John Cullen (Translator)

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986568,702 (3.63)62
Title:The Swallows of Kabul
Authors:Yasmina Khadra
Other authors:John Cullen (Translator)
Info:Anchor (2005), Paperback, 195 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:Kabul, Taliban, Despair

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The Swallows of Kabul by Yasmina Khadra (2002)


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English (47)  French (3)  Norwegian (2)  Danish (2)  Spanish (2)  All languages (56)
Showing 1-5 of 47 (next | show all)
In this dark, melancholy, but beautifully written novel, the unrelenting whirlwind of Islamic fundamentalism is the daily terror of the "swallows of Kabul" -- those Afghans with no freedom and no power who can only dream of life without the Taliban. One woman finds that though she has no freedom, she can still make a great sacrifice, but what effect will it have in a land where tragedy is commonplace? - Adam
  stephencrowe | Nov 11, 2015 |
A small but very impressive book. The stories read like they could happen IRL any day, any place in a religious muslim city. For me as a western wonan that makes it a very disturbing book.
Nevertheless I'm happy to have read it. Again I am a bit wiser after reading a book. ( )
  BoekenTrol71 | Jan 16, 2015 |
The beautiful lyrical language of the opening chapter drew me in to this grim tale of life in Afghanistan. The third person narrator introduces us to two couples. Atiq the jailer and his wife Mussarat who is terminally ill and Mohsen and Zunaira, educated, middle class who have had their dreams shattered by the ascendance of the Taliban. When the lives of these two couples cross death and despair are left in their wake.
I have since learnt that the writer is in fact a man writing under a pen name which explains the detailed depiction of the daily events in these men's lives. ( )
  HelenBaker | Nov 19, 2014 |
GUT-PUNCH! (consider yourself warned.)

this is a harrowing novel, but absolutely beautifully written. it's a book everyone should read, particularly privileged people of the western world - those who enjoy freedom, democracy, personal rights and liberties. (not to sound scolding or finger-wagging. but...we really have no idea and get caught up in the smallest annoyances and pettinesses. things that are not life-and-death issues, yet are responded to as though they are.

if you are looking for a fictional, though believable, glimpse of lives in afghanistan under the taliban, read this novel. ( )
  Booktrovert | Aug 4, 2014 |
Wow, great book. A chilling desolate prologue. Hints of tale of despair, yielding a spindled thin hope of overcoming.
“Women mummified in shrouds the color of fever or fear, are utterly anonymous”. ( )
  BCbookjunky | Mar 31, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 47 (next | show all)
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Allá por el quinto infierno, un tornado abre los volantes de su vestido en la estrambótica danza de una bruja en trance; tanta histeria ni siquiera consigue sacudirle el polvo a las dos palmeras calcificadas que se alzan hacia el cielo como los brazos de un martirizado.
In the middle of nowhere, a whirlwind spins like a sorceress flinging out her skirts in a macabre dance; yet not even this hysteria serves to blow the dust off the calcified palm trees thrust against the sky like beseeching arms.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0099466023, Paperback)

Moshen and his wife, Zunaira, met at the university and once looked forward to a happy and prosperous life together. But Moshem's dream of becoming a diplomat, halted by the war with Russia, dies with the ascendancy of the Taliban. Zunaira, formerly a lawyer who worked for women's rights, can no longer even appear on the streets of Kabul without a veil over her face. It is only in their own home that they can be themselves. One day, unable to resist Moshen's pleas, Zunaira dons her burqa and goes to market with him. The outing turns into a nightmare. Atiq, a veteran of the Russian war, is now a part-time jailer who watches over those condemned to death. The darkness of the prison and the wretchedness of his job have seeped into his soul. His home offers little respite from his rage and misery; his wife Musarrat, is suffering from an illness no doctor can cure and even the most furvent prayers cannot alleviate. As Atiq begins to lose all faith in his own ability to survive the arbitary demands and extreme cruelties of the Taliban, he is drawn to Zanaira, now in prison awaiting public execution. In a final act of defiance, Musarrat conceives a plan that will allow her husband to live and hope again...Already a best seller in France, "The Swallows of Kabul" brilliantly exposes the differences between religiosity and dangerous religious extremism. Written in spare, exquisite prose, it is an unforgettable portrait of life under a fascist theocracy.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:01:27 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

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 has destroyed; Zunaira, his wife, exceedingly beautiful, who was once a brilliant teacher and is now no longer allowed to leave her home without an escort or covering her face. Intersecting their world is Atiq, a prison keeper, a man 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.… (more)

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