Novels Set in Afghanistan and Pashtun-majority Areas in Pakistan

I’m pasting the below from the old blog (you may click for the comments – some interesting stuff).
I have not read some of these books and would love any and all opinions on them.

P.S. I’d like for Pukhtuns/Afghans to write novels set in the Fatherland, folks. Seriously, white folks won’t tire of writing about us… I mean, look at the following list. Look at the orientalist attitudes so prevalent in their mindset.

I’ve been looking for novels that take place in Pashtun-majority spaces, like Afghanistan and Pashtunkhwa, or otherwise novels about/with Pashtuns as the main characters. I’m hesitant to include or read any books written by westerners about Afghanistan because I am sick of the romanticization of Afghanistan and all things Afghans, but I recognize that there are a few good, honest reads out there. I’ll include a couple of them below. The following have been recommended to me. Some of them, however, like The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns — and enjoyed them. I did not like And the Mountains Echoed (here’s why). Dying to get my hands on In My Father’s Country, too – heard great things about it.

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Pashtun Hospitality and Stuff

I’ve mentioned before that I’ve been working with Afghan refugees (and non-refugees here and there, too), translating for them for different things. Apparently, there’s a strong Afghan community here, most coming in as refugees. When it comes to Pashtuns, I prefer the ones of Afghanistan to those of Pakistan. In my experience, however limited, the Afghan Pashtuns are more willing to re-adjust to new environments, far more willing to learn and understand; the Pakistani Pashtuns, in my experience, no so much. Spare me the torture of talking about my experience with the Pashtuns my family interacts with. Afghan Pashtuns are also more humble. I say this recognizing that our chances of being related or have some far mutual acquaintances are almost none, whereas a Pashtun from Pakistan … my God, we’re always somehow related. I mean, there’s this family from Peshawar that my family knows … and *somehow* … just somehow, we have mutual friends in Swat. That’s to say, when chances of our knowing each other are high, I’m less  likely to want to interact with them because honestly, every move a girl makes then becomes the subject of people’s conversations with each other. So since these Afghan Pashtuns likely will not have any relatives or friends in common with my family, my family is less likely to hear rumors about me from them! I mean, get this: A friend of mine had been recently engaged and this random Pakistani Pashtun woman tells her, “You better be careful now that I know your mother-in-law! I’ll be reporting to her about you!” We were like, “wtf?!”

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On Pakistan’s Sick Choice to Expel Afghan Refugees from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

I almost feel bad for writing this because I think Pakistan’s choice to expel Afghan refugees out of the area is merely a clever tactic to divert people’s attention from the real problem facing Pakistan – militancy and what just happened in Peshawar. It thinks (and it looks like it’s right) that we are a stupid, mindless breed of people and will fall for their lie that our problems exist because of the Afghan refugees we’re not even hospitable to. And so everyone’s going to talk about this and falsely connect militancy and violence to Afghans and Afghan refugees especially and therefore not talk about the real problem facing Pakistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. So by talking about it, I feel like I’m letting them succeed.

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