International IMPAC Dublin Literary Awards Best Novel (nominee)
Moshen, the scion of a family of successful businessmen, and his wife, Zunaira, the daughter of a prominent man, met at the university and once looked forward to a happy and prosperous life together. But Moshen’s dream of becoming a diplomat, halted by the war with Russia, dies with the ascendancy of the Taliban. Zunaira, formerly a lawyer who worked for women’s rights, can no longer even appear on the streets of Kabul without a veil over her face. It is only in their own home that they can be themselves, share their thoughts, express their love. One day, unable to resist Moshen’s pleas, Zunaira dons her burqa and goes to the market with him. The outing turns into a nightmare from which neither can awaken.
Atiq, a veteran of the Russian war, is now a part-time jailer who watches over those condemned to death. The darkness of the prison and the wretchedness of his job have seeped into his soul. His home offers little respite from his rage and misery. His wife, Musarrat, is suffering from an illness no doctor can cure and even the most fervent prayers cannot alleviate. As Atiq begins to lose all faith in his own ability to survive the arbitrary demands and extreme cruelties of the Taliban, he is drawn to the beautiful Zunaira, now placed in the prison to await public execution. In a final act of defiance, Musarrat conceives a plan that will allow her husband to live and to hope again.
Already a bestseller in France, THE SWALLOWS OF KABUL brilliantly exposes the differences between religiosity and dangerous religious extremism. Written in spare, exquisite prose, it is an unforgettable portrait of life under a fascist theocracy.
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Used availability for Yasmina Khadra's The Swallows of Kabul
May 2008 : USA Library Binding
February 2004 : USA Hardback
2004 : USA Hardback
May 2005 : UK Paperback
April 2005 : USA Paperback
May 2004 : UK Paperback
December 2007 : USA, Canada Kindle edition