The Patience Stone by Atiq Rahimi

The Patience Stone

Atiq Rahimi

This is a compelling, intriguing and unusual novella. War is raging in an Afghan village and comes straight to the door of an unnamed woman who is caring for her comatose husband. As she talks to him and God about her secrets, disappointments and true feelings about their life together; the reader is given a rare and touching insight into the life of women in Afghanistan.

Extract

'And then I realised that since you've been ill, since I've been talking to you, getting angry with you, insulting you, telling you everything that I've kept hidden in my heart, and you not being able to reply, or do anything at all ... all of this has been soothing and comforting to me.' She grasps the man by his shoulders. 'So, if I feel relieved, set free - in spite of the terrible things that keep happening to us - it is thanks to my secrets, and to you. I am not a demon!' She lets go of his shoulders, and strokes his beard. 'Because now your body is mine, and my secrets are yours. You are here for me. I don't know whether you can see or not, but one thing I am absolutely sure of is that you can hear me, that you can understand what I'm saying. And that is why you're still alive. Yes, you are alive for my sake, for the sake of my secrets.'

Parallels
  • A Girl Made of Dust by Nathalie Abi-Ezzi
  • The Attack by Yasmina Khadra
  • Unveiled: Voices of Women in Afghanistan by Harriet Logan

Books with similar mood

Incendiary

Chris Cleave

Swimmer

Bill Broady

Viral

Helen Fitzgerald

Hausfrau

Jill Alexander Essbaum

Paradise

A L Kennedy

The End We Start From

Megan Hunter

The Vanishing

Tim Krabbe

Godsend

John Wray

Born under Punches

Martyn Waites

Camera

Eva-Marie Liffner

Other People's Fathers

Romana Petri

Yiza

Michael Köhlmeier

The Plaza

Guillermo Paxton

Three Day Road

Joseph Boyden

Spill Simmer Falter Wither

Sara Baume

Season to Taste or How to Eat Your Husband

Natalie Young

Night Work

Thomas Glavinic

The Man I Became

Peter Verhelst

The Colour of Milk

Nell Leyshon

Just Another Jihadi Jane

Tabish Khair

Almost Like Spring

Alex Capus

The Dig

Cynan Jones

The Boat to Redemption

Su Tong

All the Lights

Clemens Meyer

Cities without Palms

Tarek Eltayeb

Transit

Lana Citron

The Dead of Summer

Camilla Way

The Hundred Wells of Salaga

Ayesha Harruna Attah

San Miguel

T C Boyle

Horses of God

Mahi Binebine

Taming the Beast

Emily Maguire

Falling Out of Cars

Jeff Noon

Dream of Ding Village

Yan Lianke

Tart Noir

Duffy/Henderson ed.

Scaredy Cat

Mark Billingham

Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage

Haruki Murakami

An Untamed State

Roxane Gay

The Woman Before Me

Ruth Dugdall

A Girl Returned

Donatella Di Pietrantonio

Beastings

Benjamin Myers

The Constant Gardener

John Le Carre

Complicity

Iain Banks

Silent House

Orhan Pamuk

Walk the Blue Fields

Claire Keegan

Fresh Apples

Rachel Trezise

The Diagnosis

Alan Lightman

The Yellow Birds

Kevin Powers

In Darkness

Nick Lake