A Tale of Contemporary Afghanistan
Ennapadam S. Krishnamoorthy
AND THE MOUNTAINS ECHOED by Khaled Hosseini Bloomsbury, New Delhi, 2013, 416 pp., 599
October 2013, volume 37, No 10

From the author of the much acclaimed Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns comes another novel set in Afghanistan, moving with its actors to Europe and America. The protagonists of this tale are a pair of incredibly close siblings, Abdullah and Pari, who live in the small village of Shadbagh, a two day trek from Kabul. Albeit spartan, theirs is an idyllic existence; playing with the local mongrel, climbing trees and collecting bird feathers for their amusement. So close are brother and sister that Abdullah treks for a day and trades in his best pair of shoes in exchange for a solitary peacock feather, all just to delight Pari.

Enter Nabi, their glamorous chauffeur uncle from Kabul, sideburns, well pressed if oversized olive suit, driving a large blue car with cream upholstery and an eagle crest on the hood. Their idyllic vigil ends abruptly and with it their blissful childhood. Pari is sold to Nila and Wadhati, a mismatched wealthy couple, Nabi’s employers.

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