Opium Nation: Child Brides, Drug Lords, and One Woman’s Journey Through Afghanistan
When veteran reporter Fariba Nawa returned home to Afghanistan—the nation she had fled as a child with her family during the Soviet invasion nearly twenty years earlier—she discovered a fractured country transformed by a multibillion-dollar drug trade. In Opium Nation, Nawa deftly illuminates the changes that have overtaken Afghanistan after decades of unbroken war. Sharin...more
Despite frequently having to stop and Google a term, or a location, or getting confused on if it was 2001 or 2004 or 2003 etc, this book gives a lot of insight into a very complex country - particularly the difficulties with the opium trade and how eradicating poppy fields is not the answer. The author is right ...more
The picture in Afghanistan is not so pretty. Nawa, whose family fled when the Russians were dropping bombs on her city (one hit her elementary school), grew up in the United States bu ...more
The reality of child brides and Fariba's interactions with one such bride, Darya, do not play as much of a role in the book as I had anticipated. The latter two elements in her book title - drug lo ...more
Not to say it's a bad book. It's not. It's very engaging--at times tense and at others, almost dreamy. If I had more time, I would have loved to read the whole thing cover to cover and probably would ...more
The book tells about her experiences when she returned to Afghanistan and what she discovered about the drug trade and how peo ...more
"Opium Nation" displays a cultural insight that generally doesn't come from "parachute journalists." Fariba's b ...more
Like a couple other reviews mentioned, a map and timeline would've been helpful while I was reading this book. There are many times where the author jumps forward and back in time that I would find myself lost and need to reread a section to orient myself.
Overall, a very i ...more
However, the author's views on drugs and drug prohibition are frequently ill-informed. All in all, works better as a book about Afghanistan than a book about Opium. Enjoy ...more
As a newswriter, Nawa seemed to be better able to divulge information than the Balkan authors overall have offered me.
I especially liked this book, even if the topic was horrible, too - girls sold/married to drug lords for opiates.
I would have liked to hear more of the personal stories of families affected by the Opium trade and less about the authors own identity struggles. That is what is missing from this being a great book.
It would have been better as a magazine article, so she wouldn't have to repeat so much information and rely so much on her personal narrative.