Reading Afghanistan: Atiq Rahimi's "The Patience Stone"

For his first novel in French (his former works have been written in Persian) Afghan author and filmmaker Atiq Rahimi received the Prix Goncourt in 2008, France's most important literary prize for fiction.
The setting is a room where a woman cares for her war injured, paralyzed husband. Although he lies motionless in a coma, his wife not only nurses him, but addresses her long soliloquy to this half-dead man, opening up her heart and speaking frankly of her married life.
In his writigs emerges a unique kosmos with motives from the experiences of Afghan people, but in the same moment transcending it's historical context assimilating symbols and narratives from Persian sufi literature.
Read an excellent review of the German version here and a beautiful article about the author in French here.
The English translation will be published in January, 2010. Stay tuned!

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