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The Patience Stone: The Patience Stone

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The Patience Stone: The Patience Stone Cover

ISBN13: 9781590513828
ISBN10: 1590513827
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

“For far too long, Afghan women have been faceless and voiceless. Until now. With The Patience Stone, Atiq Rahimi gives face and voice to one unforgettable woman–and, one could argue, offers her as a proxy for the grievances of millions…it is a rich read, part allegory, part a tale of retribution, part an exploration of honor, love, sex, marriage, war. It is without doubt an important and courageous book.” from the introduction by Khaled Hosseini, author of The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns

In Persian folklore, Syngue Sabour is the name of a magical black stone, a patience stone, which absorbs the plight of those who confide in it. It is believed that the day it explodes, after having received too much hardship and pain, will be the day of the Apocalypse. But here, the Syngue Sabour is not a stone but rather a man lying brain-dead with a bullet lodged in his neck. His wife is with him, sitting by his side. But she resents him for having sacrificed her to the war, for never being able to resist the call to arms, for wanting to be a hero, and in the end, after all was said and done, for being incapacitated in a small skirmish. Yet she cares, and she speaks to him. She even talks to him more and more, opening up her deepest desires, pains, and secrets. While in the streets rival factions clash and soldiers are looting and killing around her, she speaks of her life, never knowing if her husband really hears. And it is an extraordinary confession, without restraint, about sex and love and her anger against a man who never understood her, who mistreated her, who never showed her any respect or kindness. Her admission releases the weight of oppression of marital, social, and religious norms, and she leads her story up to the great secret that is unthinkable in a country such as Afghanistan. Winner of the Prix Goncourt, The Patience Stone captures with great courage and spare, poetic, prose the reality of everyday life for an intelligent woman under the oppressive weight of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan.

Synopsis:

Winner of the Prix Goncourt award, "The Patience Stone" captures with great courage and spare, poetic, prose the reality of everyday life for an intelligent woman under the oppressive weight of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan.

About the Author

Atiq Rahimi was born in Afghanistan in 1962, but fled to France in 1984. There he has become renowned as a maker of documentary and feature films, and as a writer. The film of his novel Earth and Ashes was in the Official Selection at Cannes in 2004 and won a number of prizes. He is currently adapting another of his novels, A Thousand Rooms of Dreams and Fear, for the screen. Since 2001 Rahimi has returned to Afghanistan to set up a Writers’ House in Kabul and to offer support and training to young Afghan writers and filmmakers. He lives in Paris.

Polly McLean is a freelance translator based in Oxford, England. Previous translations include titles by Catherine Deneuve and Sylvia Kristel (star of the Emmanuelle films) as well as the award-winning Secret by Philippe Grimbert

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Denise Morland, October 27, 2010 (view all comments by Denise Morland)
The Patience Stone, also called Syngue Sabour, is said to absorb the grief of people who confess to it. This concept is used as a strong metaphor in this brief but powerful story. A woman sits vigil over her comatose husband. He was injured in Afghanistan fighting in a jihad. As she waits, often hiding from marauding soldiers, seeking shelter from bombs, and vaguely caring for her young daughter, she talks to her husband.

This one-sided conversation is the heart of the book. She is at turns angry and resentful over his abandonment and mistreatment of her, then loving and beseeching his forgiveness, then defiantly confessing her sins. Her voice comes across as raw and authentic and her pain is sometimes difficult to hear. The writing is very lyrical, sometimes almost sounding like poetic prose.

I listened to this book on audio. The reader, Atiq Rahimi, does a fantastic job, her voice rising harsh and hysterical at times and dropping low and soothing at others, matching the story perfectly.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9781590513828
Publisher:
Other Press
Subject:
Fiction : Literary
Translator:
McLean, Polly
Author:
Rahimi, Atiq
Author:
Hosseini, Khaled
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Afghanistan
Subject:
Islamic fundamentalism
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Subject:
main_subject
Subject:
all_subjects
Publication Date:
January 2010
Binding:
eBooks
Language:
English
Pages:
160

Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Cultural Heritage

The Patience Stone: The Patience Stone
0 stars - 0 reviews
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Product details 160 pages Other Press - English 9781590513828 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Winner of the Prix Goncourt award, "The Patience Stone" captures with great courage and spare, poetic, prose the reality of everyday life for an intelligent woman under the oppressive weight of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan.
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