The Swallows of Kabul

The Swallows of Kabul - Yasmina Khadra In the general sense, [book: The Swallows of Kabul] is a short novel of Afghan life under the Taliban, but (as with Philip Caputos' Acts of Faith) the real message of this political novel is more personal and more penetrating. Here is book made to question the logic of fundamentalist rule. Here also is an emotionally emptying story of how the central binding power of women has been systematically destroyed by Afghanistan’s culture of war. There are scathing commentaries given to the women of Kabul — the swallows of the novel — about the theft of femininity and identity through the assignment of the burqa. The men, meanwhile, seem not to know themselves, and can only note their losses in the mirroring faces and costumes of their wives.Reading Swallows is like reading science fiction without the fiction part; it creates an uncomfortable view of life yoked by the impulses of fundamentalism, and demonstrates a history of loss — lives literally driven to ruin — from the whips and bonds that has made this world of men.[Yasmina Khadra is the feminine pen name for Algerian army officer Mohammed Moulessehoul]