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"From the first page, this beautifully told tale will capture the reader's heart and imagination . . . Powerful and moving."—The Sun (U.K.)
"Beautifully written, touching and laced throughout with humor . . . A stunningly assured debut novel from a writer who looks set to be a big star."—The News of the World (U.K.)
"In her indelible first novel, Busfield, a British journalist who has lived in Afghanistan, describes post- Taliban Kabul from the viewpoint of precocious, 11-year-old Fawad. . . . Poetic, bawdy, hilarious, and achingly wise, Busfield’s debut is a love story many times over: between a man and a woman, the author and Afghanistan, and an irrepressible boy and the wild world at large."—Gillian Engberg, Booklist (starred review)
"Former journalist Busfield first traveled to Afghanistan in 2001 to cover the fall of the Taliban. Her first novel presents the aftermath of that event through the eyes of an 11-year-old boy . . . Readers who like to explore other cultures and current events through fiction will find here an intriguing picture of contemporary Afghanistan. Extras for book clubs are appended."—Debbie Bogenschutz, Cincinnati State Technical & Community College, Library Journal
My name is Fawad, and my mother tells me I was born under the shadow of the Taliban. Because she said no more, I imagined her stepping out of the sunshine and into the dark, crouching in a corner to protect the stomach that was hiding me, while a man with a stick watched over us, ready to beat me into the world.
But then I grew up, and I realized I wasn’t the only one born under this shadow. There was my cousin Jahid, for one, and the girl Jamilla—we all worked the foreigners on Chicken Street together—and there was also my best friend, Spandi. Before I knew