Master your Minecraft
 
 

Special Offers see all

Enter to WIN a $100 Credit

Subscribe to PowellsBooks.news
for a chance to win.
Privacy Policy

Tour our stores


    Recently Viewed clear list


    Best Books of the Year | December 10, 2014

    Mary Jo Schimelpfenig: IMG Best Fantasy/Sci-Fi of 2014



    Here are the books that knocked my socks off in 2014. All of them would make great gifts; each of them was truly something that evoked that... Continue »

    spacer
Qualifying orders ship free.
$4.50
Used Trade Paper
Ships in 1 to 3 days
Add to Wishlist
Qty Store Section
1 Burnside Asia- Afghanistan
2 Burnside Travel Writing- Asia

An Unexpected Light: Travels in Afghanistan

by

An Unexpected Light: Travels in Afghanistan Cover

ISBN13: 9780312288464
ISBN10: 0312288468
Condition: Standard
All Product Details

Only 3 left in stock at $4.50!

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Part historical evocation, part travelogue, and part personal quest, An Unexpected Light is the account of Elliot's journey through Afghanistan, a country considered off-limits to travelers for twenty years. Aware of the risks involved, but determined to explore what he could of the Afghan people and culture, Elliot leaves the relative security of Kabul. He travels by foot and on horseback, and hitches rides on trucks that eventually lead him into the snowbound mountains of the North toward Uzbekistan, the former battlefields of the Soviet army's "hidden war." Here the Afghan landscape kindles a recollection of the author's life ten years earlier, when he fought with the anti-Soviet mujaheddin resistance during the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan.

Weaving different Afghan times and visits with revealing insights on matters ranging from antipersonnel mines to Sufism, Elliot has created a narrative mosaic of startling prose that captures perfectly the powerful allure of a seldom-glimpsed world.

Jason Elliot lives in London. This is his first book.

An American Library Association Notable Book

Part historical evocation, part travelogue, and part personal quest, An Unexpected Light is the account of Elliot's journey through Afghanistan, a country considered off-limits to travelers for twenty years. Aware of the risks involved, but determined to explore what he could of the Afghan people and culture, Elliot leaves the relative security of Kabul. He travels by foot and on horseback, and hitches rides on trucks that eventually lead him into the snowbound mountains of the North toward Uzbekistan, the former battlefields of the Soviet army's "hidden war." Here the Afghan landscape kindles a recollection of the author's life ten years earlier, when he fought with the anti-Soviet mujaheddin resistance during the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan.

Exploring various Afghan historical phases, socio-cultural trends, and geographic locations while also considering matters ranging from antipersonnel mines to Sufism, Elliot has created a narrative mosaic of startling prose. The Unexpected Light captures perfectly the powerful allure of a seldom-glimpsed world.

"The most sustained firsthand description of life in Afghanistan to be produced by a foreign observer in recent years . . . Exciting."Richard Bernstein, The New York Times

"The most sustained firsthand description of life in Afghanistan to be produced by a foreign observer in recent years . . . Exciting."Richard Bernstein, The New York Times

"A work of substance and style, witty and moving by turns, never less than wholly passionate . . . What raises the book to the level of a classic is its intensely personal meditation on the magic of unplanned adventure, of the pain and pleasure of pushing into the unknown."The Times (London)

"The surprise of the year: a lyrical, unrestrained and enthralling account of a journey into Afghanistan . . . I loved this book."The Daily Telegraph

"This extraordinary debut is an account of Elliot's two visits to Afghanistan. The first occurred when he joined the mujaheddin circa 1979 and was smuggled into Soviet-occupied Afghanistan; the second happened nearly ten years later, when he returned to the still war-torn land. The skirmishes that Elliot painstakingly describes here took place between the Taliban and the government of Gen. Ahmad Shah Massoud in Kabul. Today, the Taliban are in power, but Elliot's sympathies clearly lie with Massoud. Although he thought long and hard before abandoning his plan to travel to Hazara territory, where 'not a chicken could cross that pass without being fired on,' Elliot traveled widely in the hinterland, visiting Faizabad in the north and Herat in the west. The result is some of the finest travel writing in recent years. With its luminous descriptions of the people, the landscape (even when pockmarked by landmines), and Sufism, this book has all the hallmarks of a classic, and it puts Elliot in the same league as Robert Byron and Bruce Chatwin."Library Journal

"An Unexpected Light is often unexpectedly funny and constantly perceptive, but it is also profound."Jason Goodwin, The New York Times Book Review

"Elliot is an enthralling writer with a great gift for evoking places, people and atmosphere, from the pastoral calm of a fertile valley to the terrifying sights and sounds of war."Merle Rubin, The Los Angeles Times

"Lyrical . . . alluring . . . a poignant remembrance, hued in the mixed reds of war and sunset, that comes close to a place that has already changed beyond imagination."Paula Newberg, San Francisco Chronicle Book Review

"Humorous, honest and wry . . . [Elliot's] literary talents are exceptional. His sonorous prose moves forward with the purposeful grace of a river."Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"An Unexpected Light is an unexpected gift . . . Elliot's account is vivid and should broaden the reader's comprehension of an often misunderstood country."Jonathan Shipley, Columbus Dispatch

"The author's impressive knowledge of Afghanistan's history, his seemingly boundless affection for its people, his understanding and respect for their culture and religion, and his flair for the language make this more than a casual travelogue. It is a plaintive love song whose discordant notes are provided by daily encounters with violence, hardship, and poverty."Kirkus Reviews

"An Unexpected Light thoughtfully lays out new and overlooked information that policy-makers in the U.S. and the West as a whole need when trying to decide what may work."Robert A. Lincoln, Richmond-Times Dispatch

"I am sure this book will soon be among the classics of travel [writing]."Doris Lessing

"An astonishing debut: one of the most remarkable travel books this decade."William Dalrymple

Book News Annotation:

The author first traveled in Afghanistan during the Mujahedeen's war against the Soviet invasion. In this work he recounts his travels back in the country some ten years later at the time when the country was racked by civil war and was witnessing the first military successes of the Taliban. The material mainly sticks to personal recollection, but occasionally he discusses historical and cultural material related to his experiences. Distributed by Palgrave.
Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Synopsis:

Part historical evocation, part travelogue, and part personal quest, An Unexpected Light is the account of Elliot's journey through Afghanistan, a country considered off-limits to travelers for twenty years. Aware of the risks involved, but determined to explore what he could of the Afghan people and culture, Elliot leaves the relative security of Kabul. He travels by foot and on horseback, and hitches rides on trucks that eventually lead him into the snowbound mountains of the North toward Uzbekistan, the former battlefields of the Soviet army's "hidden war." Here the Afghan landscape kindles a recollection of the author's life ten years earlier, when he fought with the anti-Soviet mujaheddin resistance during the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan.

Weaving different Afghan times and visits with revealing insights on matters ranging from antipersonnel mines to Sufism, Elliot has created a narrative mosaic of startling prose that captures perfectly the powerful allure of a seldom-glimpsed world.

Description:

Part travelogue, part historical evocation, part personal quest, and part reflection on the joys and perils of passage, An Unexpected Light is a remarkable, poignant book about Afghanistan and a heartfelt reflection on the experience of travel itself.

About the Author

Jason Elliot lives in London. This is his first book.

What Our Readers Are Saying

Add a comment for a chance to win!
Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

effie mihopoulos, November 10, 2008 (view all comments by effie mihopoulos)
There are some intriguing moments in this travelogue, though overall it wasn't as exciting as the book cover makes it look like it will be. Still, a book worth reading in the current world of events. It definitely brings the reader toward seeing how different cultures see the same situation in totally different ways.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(4 of 8 readers found this comment helpful)

Product Details

ISBN:
9780312288464
Subtitle:
Travels in Afghanistan
Author:
Elliot, Jason
Publisher:
Picador
Location:
New York
Subject:
Description and travel
Subject:
Afghanistan
Subject:
Asia - Central
Subject:
Essays & Travelogues
Subject:
Travel
Subject:
Afghanistan Description and travel.
Subject:
Elliot, Jason - Travel - Afghanistan
Subject:
Travel Writing-General
Subject:
Middle East - General
Copyright:
Edition Number:
1st Picador USA ed.
Edition Description:
Picador USA
Series:
Bestselling Backlist
Series Volume:
368/March 2001
Publication Date:
20011117
Binding:
Electronic book text in proprietary or open standard format
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
496
Dimensions:
8.36 x 5.98 x 1.33 in

Other books you might like

  1. Traveller's Literary Companion #3:... New Trade Paper $14.95
  2. The Storyteller's Daughter Used Hardcover $16.50
  3. A Death in Brazil: A Book of... Used Hardcover $5.95
  4. Lonely Planet a Short Walk in the...
    Used Trade Paper $8.95
  5. The Lost Heart of Asia Used Trade Paper $8.95
  6. The Sex Lives of Cannibals: Adrift...
    Used Trade Paper $5.95

Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Asia » Afghanistan
History and Social Science » World History » Asia » General
Travel » Asia » Central Asia
Travel » Travel Writing » Asia
Travel » Travel Writing » General

An Unexpected Light: Travels in Afghanistan Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$4.50 In Stock
Product details 496 pages MACMILLAN PUBLISHING SERVICES - English 9780312288464 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,
Part historical evocation, part travelogue, and part personal quest, An Unexpected Light is the account of Elliot's journey through Afghanistan, a country considered off-limits to travelers for twenty years. Aware of the risks involved, but determined to explore what he could of the Afghan people and culture, Elliot leaves the relative security of Kabul. He travels by foot and on horseback, and hitches rides on trucks that eventually lead him into the snowbound mountains of the North toward Uzbekistan, the former battlefields of the Soviet army's "hidden war." Here the Afghan landscape kindles a recollection of the author's life ten years earlier, when he fought with the anti-Soviet mujaheddin resistance during the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan.

Weaving different Afghan times and visits with revealing insights on matters ranging from antipersonnel mines to Sufism, Elliot has created a narrative mosaic of startling prose that captures perfectly the powerful allure of a seldom-glimpsed world.

spacer
spacer
  • back to top

FOLLOW US ON...

     
Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at Powells.com.