The Underground Girls of Kabul

Overview

An investigative journalist uncovers a hidden Afghan custom that will change your understanding of what it means to grow up as a girl.

Expanding on her widely read New York Times article "Afghan Boys Are Prized, So Girls Live the Part," in which she uncovered the phenomenon of bacha posh (literally “dressed up like a boy” in Dari), the practice of disguising and raising young girls as boys, Jenny Nordberg constructs a powerful and moving ...
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Overview

An investigative journalist uncovers a hidden Afghan custom that will change your understanding of what it means to grow up as a girl.

Expanding on her widely read New York Times article "Afghan Boys Are Prized, So Girls Live the Part," in which she uncovered the phenomenon of bacha posh (literally “dressed up like a boy” in Dari), the practice of disguising and raising young girls as boys, Jenny Nordberg constructs a powerful and moving account of the long-standing tradition that has enabled many girls to counter the challenges they face in a deeply segregated society where they have almost no rights.

     Through extensive in-depth reporting and first-person interviews, Nordberg offers a fascinating, almost fairy-tale-like look at how girls can be willed into looking, behaving, and acting as boys, why mothers would ask that of their daughters, and what ultimately happens when some girls do not want to rescind the prerogatives that go along with living as boys, and later as men.

     Divided into four parts, following strong characters through childhood, puberty, married life, and childbirth, The Underground Girls of Kabul charts the entire life cycle of Afghan women and gets to the heart of how bacha posh has profoundly affected generations, not only in the greater historical and political context of Afghanistan but also what it means to women everywhere now.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781467676359
  • Publisher: Random House Adult Trade Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 9/28/2014

Meet the Author

JENNY NORDBERG is an award-winning journalist based in New York. A foreign correspondent and columnist for the Swedish national newspaper Svenska Dagbladet, she has a long record of investigative reports for, among others, The New York Times, where she also contributed to a series that won the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting. She has reported extensively from Europe and the Middle East, and in 2010, she was awarded the Robert F. Kennedy Award for Excellence in Journalism for a television documentary on Afghan women. She has been selected as a member of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ).  
 
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