The day after the World Trade Center was destroyed, Tamim Ansary sent an anguished e-mail to twenty friends, discussing the attack from his perspective as an Afghan American. The message reached millions. Born to an Afghan father and American mother, Ansary grew up in the intimate world of Afghan family life and emigrated to San Francisco thinking he’d left Afghan culture behind forever. At the height of the Iranian Revolution, however, he took a harrowing journey through the Islamic world, and in the years that followed, he struggled to unite his divided self and to find a place in his imagination where his Afghan and American identities might meet.
“A book that steadies our skittering compass...It speaks with a modesty of tone and is all the more resonant for that reason....[It] sees things we cannot make out, and need to.” —The New York Times
“[This] powerful, timely book, written with clarity and eloquence, chronicles [Ansary’s] angst and his personal journey through two conflicting cultures....We come to see the humanity behind the country that has come into the international spotlight.” —The Mercury News (San Jose)
“[Ansary’s] descriptions of his Afghan childhood are luxe and delicious....The author’s profound, complicated homesickness burns across every page.” —Esquire
“[An] emotional and moving memoir, driven by passion and intelligence...It breaks the heart.” —The Times-Picayune (New Orleans)