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“Anyone seeking to understand why Afghanistan is difficult and what decades of violence have done to its people should read Atiq Rahimi. He is a superb guide to a hard and complex land.” —Ryan Crocker, former US ambassador to Pakistan and Iraq, and US envoy to Afghanistan
“The blasted dreamscape of Rahimi’s story and his tightly controlled prose make this a sobering literary testament to the horrors of war.” —Publishers Weekly
“It has the feel of a book of great antiquity and authority; you could more readily level the Afghan mountains than damage the dreaming culture that Earth and Ashes both embodies and silently trusts.” —London Times
“With this novel Rahimi picks up a shard of broken glass and sees the whole truth of his devastated country.” —Der Spiegel (Germany)
Born in Kabul in 1962, Atiq Rahimi was seventeen years old when the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan. He fled to Pakistan during the war and eventually applied and was granted political asylum in France in 1984. Studying at the Sorbonne, he received a doctorate in audio-visual communications. After the fall of the Taliban in 2002, Rahimi returned to Afghanistan where he filmed an adaptation of Earth and Ashes. There he has become renowned as a maker of documentary and feature films, and as a writer. The film of Earth and Ashes was in the Official Selection at Cannes in 2004 and won a number of prizes. Since 2001 Rahimi has returned to Afghanistan a number of times to set up a Writers' House in Kabul and offer support and training to young. His novel The Patience Stone (Other Press) won the Prix Goncourt in 2008.