Further Reading

cover of West of Kabul, East of New York: An Afghan American Story

Memoirs & Travelogues

West of Kabul, East of New York: An Afghan American Story
Tamim Ansary
Born in Afghanistan and raised in the United States, the son of a Pashtun-Afghan father and a Finnish-American mother offers a keenly observed, poignant memoir concerning "the dissonance between the world I am living in now and the world I left behind, a world that is lost to me."

Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books
Azar Nafisi
Nafisi writes about the clandestine literary study group she led for two years in her Tehran home. As Nafisi and the seven young women in her group explored forbidden Western novels (Lolita, The Great Gatsby, Pride and Prejudice, etc.), they found unexpected parallels between the books and their lives in post-revolutionary Iran. A "spirited tribute both to the classics of world literature and to resistance against oppression."

The Sewing Circles of Herat: A Personal Voyage through Afghanistan
Christina Lamb
Award-winning journalist Lamb chronicles the human stories behind the rise of the Taliban in Afghanistan in this moving and evocative book.

The Bookseller of Kabul
Asne Seierstad
Seierstad, who lived with a bookseller and his family, offers an unflinching portrait of a man who is both a passionate champion of Afghan literature and "an authoritarian patriarch," who doesn't hesitate to stifle the ambitions of the women in his family.

The Carpet Wars: From Kabul to Baghdad: A Ten-year Journey along Ancient Trade Routes
Christopher Kremmer
An Australian journalist uses his travels along an ancient carpet trade route that winds through Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Tajikistan, Kashmir, and Iran to explore the culture and history of the region.

The Storyteller's Daughter
Saira Shah
Saira, the daughter of a distinguished Sufi philosopher who relocated his family to England, was nurtured on stories of an idyllic "lost Eden." When she finally returns to her homeland, she discovers a country ravaged by war, poverty, and religious tyranny.

An Unexpected Light: Travels in Afghanistan
Jason Elliot
Seduced by the "harsh and breathtaking beauty" of Afghanistan and the "mystifying tenacity" of its people, nineteen-year-old Jason spent a summer with the mujaheddin resistance fighters. Ten years later, he returns to embark on "a quietly epic sort of journey" across the country.