The startling memoir of a young woman shaped by two dramatically
Born in Britain, Saira Shah was inspired by her father's
dazzling stories to rediscover the now lost life their forebears
knew for 900 years within sight of orchards, snow-topped mountains,
and the minarets of Kabul. This is Saira -- part sophisticated and
sensitive Western liberal, part fearless (even fierce) life-gulping
Afghan, falling in love with her ancestral myth, chasing
Afghanistan. Saira, at 21, becoming a correspondent at the front
during the war between the Soviets and the Afghan resistance. Then
Saira, self-imprisoned in a burqa, risking her life to film Beneath
the Veil -- her acclaimed record of the devastation of women's
lives by the Taliban. Saira discovering her extended family,
discovering a world of gorgeous family ritual, of community, of
male primacy, of arranged marriages, finding at last the (now
war-ravaged) family seat, discovering at last what she wants and
what she rejects of her compelling heritage.
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