Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
West of Kabul, East of New York

West of Kabul, East of New York

An Afghan American Story

Tamim Ansary

Farrar, Straus and Giroux




A passionate personal journey through two cultures in conflict

Shortly after militant Islamic terrorists destroyed the World Trade Center, Tamim Ansary of San Francisco sent an e-mail to twenty friends, telling how the threatened U.S. reprisals against Afghanistan looked to him as an Afghan American. The message spread, and in a few days it had reached, and affected, millions of people-Afghans and Americans, soldiers and pacifists, conservative Christians and talk-show hosts; for the message, written in twenty minutes, was one Ansary had been writing all his life.

West of Kabul, East of New York is an urgent communiqué by an American with "an Afghan soul still inside me," who has lived in the very different worlds of Islam and the secular West. The son of an Afghan man and the first American woman to live as an Afghan, Ansary grew up in the intimate world of Afghan family life, one never seen by outsiders. No sooner had he emigrated to San Francisco than he was drawn into the community of Afghan expatriates sustained by the dream of returning to their country -and then drawn back to the Islamic world himself to discover the nascent phenomenon of militant religious fundamentalism.

Tamim Ansary has emerged as one of the most eloquent voices on the conflict between Islam and the West. His book is a deeply personal account of the struggle to reconcile two great civilizations and to find some point in the imagination where they might meet.


West of Kabul, East of New York

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Praise for West of Kabul, East of New York

“A book that steadies our skittering compass...It speaks with a modesty of tone and is all the more resonant for that reason....[It] sees things we cannot make out, and need to.” —The New York Times

“There are many lives now in our melted world as complicated as Tamim Ansary's. The wonder is that this son of Afghanistan and America moves between the competing pronouns of his life with a graceful pen; he is never less than curious and generous toward the various chapters of his life that claim him.” —Richard Rodriguez, author of Days of Obligations

“[This] powerful, timely book, written with clarity and eloquence, chronicles [Ansary's] angst and his personal journey through two conflicting cultures....We come to see the humanity behind the country that has come into the international spotlight.” —The Mercury News (San Jose)

“[Ansary's] descriptions of his Afghan childhood are luxe and delicious....The author's profound, complicated homesickness burns across every page.” —Esquire

“[An] emotional and moving memoir, driven by passion and intelligence...It breaks the heart.” —The Times-Picayune (New Orleans)

Reviews from Goodreads

About the author

Tamim Ansary

Tamim Ansary, who has written numerous books for children, is a columnist for Encarta. He lives in San Francisco with his wife and their two children.

Tamim Ansary

Copyright Martin Klimek

From the Publisher

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

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