Earth and Ashes
Earth and Ashes
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Hardcover, 9780151006984, 96pp.
Publication Date: November 1, 2002
When the Soviet army arrives in Afghanistan, the elderly Dastaguir witnesses the destruction of his village and the death of his clan. His young grandson Yassin, deaf from the sounds of the bombing, is one of the few survivors. The two set out through an unforgiving landscape, searching for the coal mine where Murad, the old man's son and the boy's father, works. They reach their destination only to learn that they must wait and rely for help on all that remains to them: a box of chewing tobacco, some unripe apples, and the kindness of strangers.
Haunting in its spareness, Earth and Ashes is a tale of devastating loss, but also of human perseverance in the face of madness and war.
EUROPEAN PRAISE FOR EARTH AND ASHES
"With this novel Rahimi picks up a shard of broken glass and sees the whole truth of his devastated country."--Der Spiegel (Germany)
"Evokes with intimacy and lyricism the tragedy of a country."--Libération (France)
"A literary creation of a kind not seen for years."--L'Express (France)
"The history of Yassin and his grandfather does for our time what Antigone did for the Greeks. . . . Extraordinary."--La Marseillaise (France)
"A hallucinatory, tragic cry of despair."--Le Monde (France)
Afghanistan is not an easy country to fully grasp. Author Nadeem Aslam recommends three books that help make the United States' involvement there — both before and after Sept. 11 — a little easier to understand. More at NPR.org
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