The Storyteller's Daughter

One Woman's Return to Her Lost Homeland

By Saira Shah
(Anchor Books, Paperback, 9781400031474, 272pp.)

Publication Date: October 12, 2004

List Price: $16.00*
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Description
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 Shah's memoir, by turns inevitably exotic and unavoidably heartbreaking, in which she explores her family's 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 family's 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 father's 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.



About the Author
Saira Shah lives in London and is a freelance journalist. She was born in Britain of an Afghan family. She first visited Afghanistan at age 21 and worked there for three years as a freelance journalist, covering the guerrilla war against the Soviet occupiers. Later, working for Britain's Channel 4 News, she covered some of the world's most troubled spots, including Algeria, Kosovo, and Kinshasa, as well as Baghdad and other parts of the Middle East. Her documentaries Beneath the Veil and Unholy War have both been broadcast on CNN several times.
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