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Modern events sometime demand the reissue of a book published several years ago. Hirsh's internationally acclaimed 1986 novel, Kabul, provides an almost miraculous window into a country and its people that now have captured the world's attention.
When the last Afghan king is deposed in the summer of 1973, the family of Omar Anwari, his loyal cabinet minister, is torn apart along with their country. Over seven turbulent years while Catherine, their American mother, struggles to hold them together, Mangal, the eldest son, breaks with his father to follow his own political conscience; daughter Saira in New York is torn between two cultures; and Tor, the youngest, most passionate of the three grows up to become perhaps the bravest of them all.
An epic tale of civil war, political intrigue, and family tragedy, Kabul is a moving, insightful portrayal of a proud nation brought to chaos.
Posted May 17, 2002
'Kabul'is a great read on several levels. I read this book when it originally came out in hardcover back in 1986 and then again recently. In the eighties, at the time of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, I found it to be a great story with compelling characters and a window on an exotic country that I knew absolutely nothing about. Now, in 2001, I have reread it and absorbed far more about the tumultuous and confusing political situation that brought Afghanistan into the situation in which we see it today. 'Kabul' features the half-American family of a minister to former King Zahir Shah. The eldest son is a journalist later turned rebel leader. The daughter of the family is American educated. We see her life in the the U.S., tormented by political and familial loyalties and contrasted against the lives of her women friends back home. The youngest son is educated in Moscow and we see him evolve from a spoiled rich kid into a passionate and patriotic man. Issues of tribal loyalties and boundary disputes that I am reading about in the news every day are much more understandable to me after reading this book. I literally made a check list of the many conflicts Hirsh dramatizes so effectively in fiction that are now playing out on the world stage.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.