“[T]his book offers a unique testimony to people we cared deeply, and whose humanity and humor shine out in the stories.”
Much has been written on Afghanistan, but few books record Afghan voices. Highly informative about their way of life, preoccupations and attitudes,
is a page-turner, as the narrators—men and women—speak of their families and feuds, of economic problems and nomad adventures, interspersed with their favorite folktales. The Tappers from 1971 to 1972 stayed among the Piruzai, a subtribe of Durrani Pashtuns, at Sar-e-Pol, in Northern Afghanistan. Shortly thereafter the country descended into a half century of war, extreme insecurity and chaos. Beautifully and very sensitively presented, the book allows the narrators to take precedence throughout. Maps and charts, as well as a glossary and bibliography, and photos ground readers to the identity of the Piruzai, their land and heritage. Chapters on political context and subsequent developments add insight. Of great interest to academics, anthropologists and historians, but also a fascinating—and moving—read.