Who am I?
Why did Tamim love this book?
Aram’s book plunged me into a surreal landscape that felt weirdly normal—a quality familiar to me from dreams.
It’s set in a neighborhood of Kabul, Afghanistan, during the civil war of the mid-90s, but this isn’t like any war I’ve seen depicted: there are no armies with clashing interests.
No one knows who’s fighting or why. This war isn’t about anything, it’s just there, meaningless and ubiquitous, like rush hour traffic or pollution, something to get through as you go about your everyday life, be it collecting scorpions, having sex with the neighbor’s wife, creating beauty with calligraphy, whatever… Often I found myself shedding tears without knowing why. I wasn’t in Kabul during that war, but after this novel, I felt like I had been.