Customer Reviews for

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

Average Rating 4.5
( 3 )
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  • Posted June 3, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Very good!

    The title of this book says a lot about its content. Born in Afghanistan to an American mother, Tamim Ansary has written a memoir about an almost ubiquitous modern experience: that of belonging to more than one country or culture at once and being torn between the two. Ansary moves to the US early on and "loses track" of his Afghani roots. He becomes an outsider in Afghanistan because he left and remains an outsider in the US because he wasn't born here. He is stuck in the middle, in a sense: west of Kabul, east of New York.

    Though the writing itself is good and the book is fairly entertaining, it was this inner-conflict about culture and ethnicity that I found most engaging. Afghanistan itself is undergoing something similar, trying to modernize amidst a sometimes conflicting social structure and culture. Just a few months ago, at Sundance, I was lucky enough to see a documentary on the Afghani version of American Idol, Afghan Star, and got a very real and poignant glimpse of that struggle. That same feeling of being in the middle and nowhere at the same time is what I most liked about the book.

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    Posted July 13, 2009

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    Posted February 13, 2009

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