A sharp and arresting people's-eye view of real life in Afghanistan after the Taliban
Soon after the bombing of Kabul ceased, award-winning journalist and women's rights activist Ann Jones set out for the shattered city, determined to bring help where her country had brought destruction.
Here is her trenchant report from inside a city struggling to rise from the ruins. Working among the multitude of impoverished war widows, retraining Kabul's long-silenced English teachers, and investigating the city's prison for women, Jones enters a large community of female outcasts: runaway child brides, pariah prostitutes, cast-off wives, victims of rape. In the streets and markets, she hears the Afghan view of the supposed benefits brought by the fall of the Taliban, and learns that regarding women as less than human is the norm, not the aberration of one conspicuously repressive regime. Jones confronts the ways in which Afghan education, culture, and politics have repeatedly been hijacked—by Communists, Islamic fundamentalists, and the Western free marketeers—always with disastrous results. And she reveals, through small events, the big disjunctions: between U.S promises and performance, between the new "democracy" and the still-entrenched warlords, between what's boasted of and what is.
At once angry, profound, and starkly beautiful, Kabul in Winter brings alive the people and day-to-day life of a place whose future depends so much upon our own.
KABUL IN WINTER
IN THE STREETS
I went to Afghanistan after the bombing stopped. Somehow I felt obliged to try to help pick up the pieces. I was a New Yorker who had always lived downtown, and for a long time after...
Praise for Kabul in Winter
“A work of impassioned reportage, a sympathetic observer's damage assessment of a country torn apart by warlords, religious fanatics, and ill-advised superpower conflicts dating back more than a century . . . Eloquent and persuasive.” —The New York Times
“[A] potent and disturbing new book.” —O, The Oprah Magazine
“Often I felt a desire to thank Jones for shining a flashlight on a corner of human experience still so shrouded in shadow.” —The Christian Science Monitor
“We meet many remarkable people in this angry, eloquent book, but none more remarkable than Jones herself.” —Harper's
“[An] illuminating and complex book.” —Entertainment Weekly
“Jones's book gathers power as it goes on . . . and some of her descriptions approach poetry.” —The Washington Post
“Chilling . . . Jones's impressions are vividly rendered. . . . This achingly candid commentary brings the country's sobering truths to light.” —Booklist
“Jones focuses particularly on Afghan women, whose lives are often permeated by violence. Her sharp eye and quick wit enable vivid writing.” —Publishers Weekly
“A passionate--often grim--account of a country and a people trying to find peace after decades of war.” —Kirkus Reviews-