- CRRL Staff
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A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
Born a generation apart and with very different ideas about love and family, Mariam and Laila are two women brought jarringly together by war, by loss, and by fate. As they endure the ever escalating dangers around them-in their home as well as in the streets of Kabul—they come to form a bond that makes them both sisters and mother-daughter to each other, and that will ultimately alter the course not just of their own lives but of the next generation. With heart-wrenching power and suspense, Hosseini shows how a woman's love for her family can move her to shocking and heroic acts of self-sacrifice, and that in the end, it is love, or even the memory of love, that is often the key to survival.
The Blind Man's Garden by Nadeem Aslam
Jeo and Mikal are foster brothers from a small town in Pakistan. Though they were inseparable as children, their adult lives have diverged: Jeo is a dedicated medical student, married a year; Mikal has been a vagabond since he was fifteen, in love with a woman he can't have. But when Jeo decides to sneak across the border into Afghanistan—not to fight with the Taliban against the Americans, rather to help care for wounded civilians—Mikal determines to go with him, to protect him.
A Cup of Friendship: A Novel by Deborah Rodriguez
Sunny is an expat in Kabul who blissfully runs a coffee shop for other Americans in the country. When Yazmina, a pregnant young woman from a nearby village, is kidnapped and later abandoned near the coffee shop, Sunny instinctively comes to her aid. Candace, a wealthy American, also pitches in, while Isabel, a journalist, chronicles Yazmina's woe. Meanwhile, Halajan, a local mother, is reeling from a forbidden love affair.
The Dressmaker of Khair Khana by Gayle Tzemach Lemmon
The incredible true account of Kamila Sidiqi who, when her father and brother were forced to flee Kabul, became the sole breadwinner for her five siblings. Armed only with grit and determination, she picked up a needle and thread and created a thriving business of her own and held her family together.
Fear of Beauty: A Novel by Susan Froetschel
An Afghan woman defies her husband and societal pressures to investigate the death of her son.
A House Without Windows: A Novel by Nadia Hashimi
Zeba's life is shattered when her husband is found brutally murdered. Zeba is arrested and jailed. With the fate of Zeba's life in his hands, Afghan-born, American-raised Yusuf discovers that, like Afghanistan itself, his client may not be at all what he imagines. A moving look at the lives of modern Afghan women, this is astonishing, frightening, and triumphant.
In the Sea There Are Crocodiles: Based on the True Story of Enaiatollah Akbari by Fabio Geda
An unflinching, inspirational, and an incredibly moving novel based on the true story of Enaiatollah Akbari, a young boy whose agonizing struggle begins after his native Afghanistan becomes a dangerous place to live. His mother shepherds him across the border into Pakistan but has to leave him there to fend for himself.
The Moonlit Cage: A Novel by Linda Holeman
Daryâ's simple life in mid-nineteenth-century Afghanistan is torn apart when a hateful curse by a jealous tribeswoman leaves her an outcast in her small Muslim village. She looks to her arranged marriage to the son of a nomadic tribal chief with the hope that it will deliver her from this oppression; instead, Daryâ finds herself regularly beaten by her wrathful husband and more isolated than she can bear. Seeing no choice other than to flee from her torment, Daryâ barely escapes through the foothills of the Hindu Kush. Destitute and alone, Daryâ meets David Ingram, an enigmatic Englishman traveling in Afghanistan. Although he is a complete stranger, she joins him on his journey to Bombay—and embarks on the adventure of a lifetime.
The Patience Stone: Sang-e Saboor by Atiq Rahimi
In Persian folklore, Syngue Sabour is the name of a magical black stone, a patience stone, which absorbs the plight of those who confide in it. It is believed that the day it explodes, after having received too much hardship and pain, will be the day of the Apocalypse. But here, the Syngue Sabour is not a stone but rather a man lying brain-dead with a bullet lodged in his neck. His wife is with him, sitting by his side. But she resents him for having sacrificed her to the war, for never being able to resist the call to arms, for wanting to be a hero, and in the end, after all, was said and done, for being incapacitated in a small skirmish.
Wanting Mor by Rukhsana Khan
Jameela feels relatively secure, sustained by her Muslim faith and the love of her mother, Mor. But when Mor dies, Jameela's father impulsively decides to start a new life in Kabul where Jameela ultimately becomes an orphan after being abandoned in a busy marketplace by her father and stepmother. With only the memory of her mother to sustain her, Jameela finds the strength to face those who abandoned her when fate brings them together again.