Three short novels—including Prix Goncourt–winning The Patience Stone —that convey years of Afghan history, heartache, and hope. Never before in paperback. Atiq Rahimi’s reputation for writing war stories of immense drama and intimacy began with his first novel, Earth and Ashes, about fathers and sons and the terrible strain inflicted on families, when an Afghan village is destroyed by the Russian army.
A Thousand Rooms of Dream and Fear takes place in 1979, during a period of social and political upheaval in Kabul. On the way home from a night of drinking, a university student named Farhad is arrested and brutally beaten. A few hours later, broken and confused, he slowly regains consciousness, only to find himself in the care of a beautiful woman who has dragged him into her home to protect him.
Winner of the Prix Goncourt, The Patience Stone is the tale of a woman caring for her brain-damaged husband, who was shot in the neck during a petty conflict. After years of living in a society of Islamic fundamentalism, she finds herself strangely liberated by her husband’s condition. She tells him her innermost thoughts and secrets, many of them dark and deeply repressed, never knowing whether he’s able to hear her or not.