Toni's Reviews > The Storyteller's Daughter: One Woman's Return to Her Lost Homeland

The Storyteller's Daughter by Saira Shah
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's review
Dec 18, 2008

really liked it
bookshelves: afghanistan, biography-memoir, history, multi-cultural
Recommended to Toni by: Chrissie
Recommended for: Lynne
Read from January 05 to 10, 2012

English born Saira Shah's was weaned on her father's stories of a lush and majestic land, instilling in her the desire to search for her Afghani roots. As an adult her longing to find her ancestral land takes her into the violence and upheaval of an Afghanistan torn apart by years of invaders. It's a difficult, though moving, story of the time she spent as a journalist in a land she beautifully describes.

I now have a much better grasp of Afghanistan's convoluted history and the mindset of it's people.
At one point when the Northern Alliance and the Talliban are attacking and counter-attacking, Shah asks what the point of all this is. The soldiers looked at her as if she were mad. They said "It is war. This is Afghanistan." For people who's land has been destroyed by decades of abuse and who no longer have or even know what had been their traditional means of making a living, she was told, "This country is full of men who know nothing except how to fight. They have no other way to earn a living. They have plenty of weapons and they will try to keep on fighting in any way they can."

In the end, although the mythical Afghanistan is gone the author discovers her true bequest - her father's stories that she carries in her heart.

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