Thursday, July 15, 2010
Isolation can be one of life's most harrowing experiences, and one doesn't necessarily need to be alone to feel it.
Fear. Although individual fear may differ across cultures, socio-economic backgrounds, religions, or (more rudimentarily) ages, it is nearly impossible to find someone on this planet who couldn't describe feeling fear at some point in their life.
Desperation. One feels desperation to be heard, to be loved, to survive.
In her newest novel, No Space for Further Burials, Feryal Ali Gauhar pulls at these universal threads to describe the emotional and psychological calamities of warfare, told from the perspective of an American soldier lost in Afghanistan.
Gauhar brings an unprecedented perspective to "War Literature" as a Pakistani woman writing from an American soldier's point-of-view -- a perspective that has never before surfaced in the wide wake of books on Afghanistan. The novel is composed of the inner dialogue that grips a lonely, fearful, and desperate American medic trapped in an Afghanistan refugee asylum. The narrator is introspective, soft-spoken, and intellectual -- far from the stereotype of the “typical” American soldier, or even the typical American citizen.
Gauhar illuminates the depths of the human mind, building a narrative of the war on the internal thoughts of this soldier -- he does not speak the language of his fellow refugees, so communication is limited, and he spends much of his time alone in his cell with only his thoughts and his journal. The captivity of the American soldier among Afghani refugees explores war's chaotic nature -- the uncertainty of its outcomes, and the many social, physical, and emotional casualties for everyone involved. Ideology is pointless in the madness of asylum, where a band of motley characters are driven by their own survival, and their own tragic fates.
Gauhar’s haunting prose and graphic descriptions of the sights, sounds, and smells that accompany the struggle to survive in a war-torn nation make No Space for Further Burials an emotionally-challenging, rewarding read for anyone who seeks a unique viewpoint about the war in Afghanistan and the so-called “reasoning” for occupation.
Feryal Ali Gauhar’s career spans many disciplines; she is a film-maker, writer, actress, humanitarian, and professor, and she currently lives in Lahore, Pakistan.
To learn more about the author, or to order a copy of her book, please visit http://akashicbooks.com/nospace.htm