Farhad is a typical student, twenty-one years old, interested in wine, women, and poetry, and negligent of the religious conservatism of his grandfather. But he lives in Kabul in 1979, and the early days of the pro-Soviet coup are about to change his life forever. One night Farhad goes out drinking with a friend who is about to flee to Pakistan, and is brutally abused by a group soldiers. A few hours later he slowly regains consciousness in an unfamiliar house, beaten and confused, and thinks at first that he is dead. A strange and beautiful woman has dragged him into her home for safekeeping, and slowly Farhad begins to feel a forbidden love for her—a love that embodies an angry compassion for the suffering of Afghanistan’s women. As his mind sifts through its memories, fears, and hallucinations, and the outlines of reality start to harden, he realizes that, if he is to escape the soldiers who wish to finish the job they started, he must leave everything he loves behind and find a way to get to Pakistan.
Rahimi uses his tight, spare prose to send the reader deep into the fractured mind and emotions of a country caught between religion and the political machinations of the world’s superpowers.
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|Title of eBook: A Thousand Rooms of Dream and Fear|
|Release Date: 01-11-2011|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: Other Press|
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A Thousand Rooms of Dream and Fear
“Mother, is that you?”
A lock of my mother’s hair caresses my face. So soft and gentle.
“Brother, are you awake?”
That’s not my mother. Who is it?
Despite all the pain, I force my eyes open. I can’t tell whether the blackness
I see is her hair or the night. I move my head a fraction. Beneath the dark hair is a woman I do not know. To one side of her, I can make out the face of a child, who says, “Father!”
His hand is stroking my hair.
“Father! You woke up! You came back! Get up!”
Are these the same voices I heard before, the same faces? No, I’m still asleep.
I’d better close my eyes again. I close them.
Excerpted from A Thousand Rooms of Dream and Fear by Atiq Rahimi Copyright © 2011 by Atiq Rahimi. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher....