Synopses & Reviews
Twenty-one-year-old Christina Lamb left suburban England for Peshawar on the frontier of the Afghan war. Captivated, she spent two years tracking the final stages of the mujaheddin victory over the Soviets, as Afghan friends smuggled her in and out of their country in a variety of guises.
Returning to Afghanistan after the attacks on the World Trade Center to report for Britain's Sunday Telegraph, Lamb discovered the people no one else had written about: the abandoned victims of almost a quarter century of war. Among them, the brave women writers of Herat who risked their lives to carry on a literary tradition under the guise of sewing circles; the princess whose palace was surrounded by tanks on the eve of her wedding; the artist who painted out all the people in his works to prevent them from being destroyed by the Taliban; and Khalil Ahmed Hassani, a former Taliban torturer who admitted to breaking the spines of men and then making them stand on their heads.
Christina Lamb's evocative reporting brings to life these stories. Her unique perspective on Afghanistan and deep passion for the people she writes about make this the definitive account of the tragic plight of a proud nation.
"Lamb paints a vivid picture of Taliban rule and offers a broader sense of life devastated by two decades of war....[A] well-written and moving account....[H]er work leaves one with a powerful sense of what the Afghan people have endured..." Publishers Weekly
"Lamb has a unique perspective....The scope of Lamb's book sets it apart from similar works; readers will find it both comprehensive and absorbing." Kristine Huntley, Booklist
"[Lamb's] writing is fluid and vivid....[A]mid the rubble, Lamb sees new construction, survival, and possibly, hope." VOYA
British foreign correspondent Lamb has won awards for her reports from Pakistan and Afghanistan since September 2001. Here she recounts her interactions with women in Afghanistan during the last days of Taliban rule.
About the Author
The award-winning foreign affairs correspondent of London's Sunday Times, Christina Lamb is the author of The Sewing Circles of Herat and Waiting for Allah.
Table of Contents
List of Illustrations
1 The Taliban Torturer 9
2 Mullahs of Motorbikes 35
3 Inside the House of Knowledge 79
4 The Royal Court in Exile 111
5 The Sewing Circles of Herat 141
6 The Secret of Glass 181
7 Unpainting the Peacocks 211
8 The Story of Abdullah 245
9 Face to Face with the Taliban 277
10 A Letter from Kabul 297
Afterword to the Perennial Edition 327