Freshta by Petra Prochazkova


Petra Prochazkova

Brace yourself for a familial tale which will undoubtedly leave you feeling emotionally conflicted! In equal measure, you may, like me, finish the novel feeling sad, relieved and frustrated. Written very well and with smatterings of humour throughout, the novel touches on the post Taliban era where tradition and contemporary ways of living constantly clash. Look out for Mad - wise beyond his years and manipulative as a fox!

I never got used to the strange spectacle of men all around the city, sitting on their haunches and sprinkling pavements, rubbish heaps, roadsides or wilting lawns. Sometimes they would all go for a collective wee. They would perch in a row like chickens and relieve themselves in a synchronised display. Women in burkas would pass by without even crossing to the other side of the road, their side vision obstructed by the grille while the urinating men thought the women under the garb were invisible and possibly blind. I can see how during the war, when shooting went on in the city for twenty-four hours a day this might have been a highly useful habit. A Mujahideen engaging in this acitivity was much less vulnerable in a sitting position than if he's been standing upright the way we're used to.
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