Afghans authoring an uncertain future
By Adam Klein
2 May 2010
Creative writing workshops in Kabul have enabled Afghan authors to express themselves.
For over two and a half years the stories came in from creative writing workshops I offered in Kabul. It was, for many young writers, the first time they had been asked to compose a story: their own or someone else’s, someone they’d only heard about, a lost relative, someone born before their time – the choice was theirs. And so the project The Gifts of the State: New Afghan Writing emerged.* The stories stuck with me, sometimes quiet, pastoral narratives detailing how villagers cooperate and sacrifice together, and sometimes how villages unravel under the burden of tradition. There were, of course, stories of ethnic violence, a city carved with checkpoints, militia affiliations, and boundaries that are crossed out of love and hunger. The stories frequently show little affect in the telling. The Taliban and mujahideen were more prominent in their stories, more problematic than Americans or Russians, their legacies more contested…
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