A Thousand Rooms of Dream and Fear

Ruth Pavey reviews the novel by Atiq Rahimi, translated by Sarah Maguire and Yama Yari, in The Independent:

RahimiThe novel is set in 1979, a time of reckless political upheaval in Afghanistan just before the Soviet Union’s vain attempt to impose order by invasion. Using a technique of total immersion, Atiq Rahimi plunges the reader straight into the pain and bewilderment of a character thinking in the first person, so wounded by a brutal attack that he hardly knows whether he is awake or asleep, alive or dead, as he lies in a roadside sewer, hearing a child’s voice calling him “Father”. This is a short novel, and the reader is a quarter of the way through before learning that the confused thoughts we are sharing are those of Farhad, an educated young man who has been out drinking with a friend and forgotten the curfew.

More here.