A Diamond’s Eye View of the World

a multi-faceted look at the middle east, and the middle west

books around the world, one flight at a time (i)

Posted by adiamondinsunlight on January 14, 2007

My travels have continued, and with them my reading. Last week I read two enchanting books, each heads and shoulders above their peers in the journalist-memoir field.

Saira Shah’s The Storyteller’s Daughter was a lyrical, meditative reflection that interwove three moments in her life: her childhood in suburban England as the daughter of a well-born Afghan refugee, her days as a young journalist in Soviet Afghanistan, and her return to Afghanistan in the Taliban era of the late 1990s and the just-post-Taliban era of 2001-2001. She blends Sufi tales and ruminations from her childhood with her long years of experience in the country – and the result is not only beautiful but deeply introspective.


2 Responses to “books around the world, one flight at a time (i)”

  1. intlxpatr said

    I remember how you hated The Bookseller of Kabul because the guest misused his hospitality. Sounds like this one is more respectful?

  2. ahhhh that author really did get under my skin. She stayed with a family under false pretenses and then wrote a rather ‘expose’ style book. Shah is different – she is writing from a position partly inside, partly outside the culture. Also, she was a credentialed (i.e., openly identified and registered) journalist covering Afghanistan, and introduced herself as such to all those she met.

    Honesty, transparency, integrity: three of my favorite traits:-).

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