Review: Earth and Ashes
When Dastaguir’s Afghan village is bombed by the Russians, his wife and daughter in law are killed and his grandson is left deaf. Dastaguir feels that it’s his duty to travel to share the devastating news with his son who has left the village to work in the mines. Dastaguir and his grandson set off on foot with what little provisions they have. Dastaguir finds himself dealing with his grief, his grandson’s confusion, and their lack of supplies. He struggles to find answers and to come up with a way to break the news to his son, and is surprised by what he finds at the mine.
Earth and Ashes by Atiq Rahimi is an important novella set in Afghanistan during the Russian invasion. It’s a story of war and what it’s like to survive the devastation inflicted on others. It’s a story of family and honor. It’s told in the second person, and I found it a little bit difficult to be fully immersed in the story, which is odd, because I think that’s the whole point of second person perspective – to make the reader feel like they’re a part of the story. At 67 pages, this is a quick read, but don’t dismiss it because of that – it will make you reflect and ponder on the state of the world.