The Places in Between
By Rory Stewart
(Mariner Books, Paperback, 9780156031561, 320pp.)
Publication Date: May 2006
Other Editions of This Title: Compact Disc
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In January 2002 Rory Stewart walked across Afghanistan-surviving by his wits, his knowledge of Persian dialects and Muslim customs, and the kindness of strangers. By day he passed through mountains covered in nine feet of snow, hamlets burned and emptied by the Taliban, and communities thriving amid the remains of medieval civilizations. By night he slept on villagers' floors, shared their meals, and listened to their stories of the recent and ancient past. Along the way Stewart met heroes and rogues, tribal elders and teenage soldiers, Taliban commanders and foreign-aid workers. He was also adopted by an unexpected companion-a retired fighting mastiff he named Babur in honor of Afghanistan's first Mughal emperor, in whose footsteps the pair was following.
Through these encounters-by turns touching, con-founding, surprising, and funny-Stewart makes tangible the forces of tradition, ideology, and allegiance that shape life in the map's countless places in between.
Rory Stewart has written for the New York Times Magazine, Granta, and the London Review of Books, and is the author of The Places in Between. A former fellow at the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government, he was awarded the Order of the British Empire by the British government for services in Iraq. He lives in Scotland.
UK PRAISE FOR THE PLACES IN BETWEEN
"[Stewart's] encounters with Afghans are tragic, touching and terrifying; they all have the ring of unembellished authenticity . . . A mature debut, and an intelligent and illuminating introduction to this fascinating, unfortunate country."
-THE DAILY TELEGRAPH
"A splendid tale that is by turns wryly humorous, intensely observant, and humanely unsentimental."
"Stupendous...an instant travel classic."
"Remarkable...Gripping account of a courageous journey, observed with a scholar''s eye and a humanitarian''s heart."
"Engaging and eminently readable...A masterly job."
"Sets a new standard for cool nerve and hot determination...Sublimely written."
"A flat-out masterpiece...In very nearly every sense, too good to be true."
"Stunning...Contribute[s] greatly not only to our reading pleasure, but to our understanding of Afghanistan."