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1 Burnside Asia- Afghanistan

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The Storyteller's Daughter: One Woman's Return to Her Lost Homeland

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The Storyteller's Daughter: One Woman's Return to Her Lost Homeland Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Imagine that a jewel-like garden overlooking Kabul is your ancestral home. Imagine a kitchen made fragrant with saffron strands and cardamom pods simmering in an authentic pilau. Now remember that you were born in London, your family in exile, and that you have never seen Afghanistan in peacetime.

These are but the starting points of Saira Shahs memoir, by turns inevitably exotic and unavoidably heartbreaking, in which she explores her familys history in and out of Afghanistan. As an accomplished journalist and documentarian-her film Beneath the Veil unflinchingly depicted for CNN viewers the humiliations forced on women under Taliban rule-Shah returned to her familys homeland cloaked in the burqa to witness the pungent and shocking realities of Afghan life. As the daughter of the Sufi fabulist Idries Shah, primed by a lifetime of listening to her fathers stories, she eagerly sought out, from the mouths of Afghan refugees in Pakistan, the rich and living myths that still sustain this battered culture of warriors. And she discovered that in Afghanistan all the storytellers have been men-until now.

Synopsis:

The vivid, often startling memoir of a young woman shaped by two dramatically disparate worlds. Saira Shah is the English-born daughter of an Afghan aristocrat, inspired by his dazzling stories to rediscover the now lost life their forebears presided over for nine hundred years within sight of the minarets and lush gardens of Kabul and the snow-topped mountains of the Hindu Kush. Part sophisticated, sensitive Western liberal, part fearless, passionate Afghan, falling in love with her ancestral myth–chasing Afghanistan–Shah becomes, at twenty-one, a correspondent at the front of the war between the Soviets and the Afghan resistance. Then, imprisoning herself in a burqa, she risks her life to film Beneath the Veil, her acclaimed record of the devastation of women’s lives by the Taliban. Discovering her extended family, discovering a world of intense family ritual, of community, of male primacy, of arranged marriages, and finding at last the now war-ravaged family seat, she discovers as well what she wants and what she rejects of her extraordinary heritage.

About the Author

Saira Shah lives in London and is a freelance journalist. She was born in Britain of an Afghan family, the daughter of Idries Shah, a writer of Sufi fables. She first visited Afghanistan at age twenty-one and worked there for three years as a freelance journalist, covering the guerilla war against the Soviet occupiers. Later, working for Britains Channel 4 News, she covered some of the worlds most troubled spots, including Algeria, Kosovo, and Kinshasa, as well as Baghdad and other parts of the Middle East. Her documentary Beneath the Veil was broadcast on CNN.

Product Details

ISBN:
9781400031474
Author:
Shah, Saira
Publisher:
Anchor Books
Author:
Shah, Saira
Subject:
Women
Subject:
Personal Memoirs
Subject:
Editors, Journalists, Publishers
Subject:
Ethnic Cultures - General
Subject:
Biography-Ethnic Cultures
Subject:
Biography - General
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20041031
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
272
Dimensions:
8.04x5.24x.57 in. .46 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Biography » General
Biography » Women
History and Social Science » Asia » Afghanistan
Religion » Islam » General

The Storyteller's Daughter: One Woman's Return to Her Lost Homeland Used Trade Paper
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Product details 272 pages Anchor Books - English 9781400031474 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , The vivid, often startling memoir of a young woman shaped by two dramatically disparate worlds. Saira Shah is the English-born daughter of an Afghan aristocrat, inspired by his dazzling stories to rediscover the now lost life their forebears presided over for nine hundred years within sight of the minarets and lush gardens of Kabul and the snow-topped mountains of the Hindu Kush. Part sophisticated, sensitive Western liberal, part fearless, passionate Afghan, falling in love with her ancestral myth–chasing Afghanistan–Shah becomes, at twenty-one, a correspondent at the front of the war between the Soviets and the Afghan resistance. Then, imprisoning herself in a burqa, she risks her life to film Beneath the Veil, her acclaimed record of the devastation of women’s lives by the Taliban. Discovering her extended family, discovering a world of intense family ritual, of community, of male primacy, of arranged marriages, and finding at last the now war-ravaged family seat, she discovers as well what she wants and what she rejects of her extraordinary heritage.
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