The Sewing Circles of Herat: My Afghan Years
Long haunted by her experiences in Afghanistan, Lamb returned there after last year's attack on the World Trade Centre to find out what had become of the people and places that had marked her life as a young graduate.This time seeing the land through the eyes of a mother and experienced foreign correspondent, Lamb's journey brings her in touch with the people no one else is writing about: the abandoned victims of almost a quarter century of war. First published 2002.
'The Sewing Circles of Herat opens a window on to the deeply unromantic horrors of Taliban-led Afghanistan and, less troubling for the squeamish, tells the remarkable stories of those who dared to defy that particularly vile regime... Lamb writes with pace, conviction and honesty, uncovering both the terrible human cost of the Taliban experiment and the enduring strength of spirit of those who refused to join it.' Justin Marozzi, Sunday Telegraph 'Award-winning foreign correspondent Christina Lamb has written an inspiring and moving account of Afghanistan's plight... Lamb shows that, despite attempts to destroy the country and its culture, its soul remains uncrushed.' Marianne Brace, Independent on Sunday 'The definitive account of modern Afghanistan... This is a lucid, intimate, haunting book, passionate yet never self-indulgent, which sings the story of Lamb's love - and the tragic plight of a defiant and divided nation.' Rory Maclean, Sunday Times 'Deeply penetrating, informative and always engaging... Through the dispiriting events under which Afghanistan continues to be submerged, Lamb continually finds delightful people who have latched on to the fact that Faith is an ecclesiastical word for credulity, and offer some hope for the country's future.' Cal McCrystal, Financial Times 'Lamb has a curiosity that demands she listen to anyone - warlord, reluctant torturer, Pakistani intelligence officer, family of the last man hanged... And beyond the door of the "Golden Needle Ladies' Sewing Classes" in Herat, Lamb is awed by that cultured city's resistance... which, as [she] understands, matters more than pages of guns and rubble.' Veronica Howell, Guardian 'A remarkable blend of outrage, compassion and hope, Christina Lamb's book is an alternately horrifying and uplifting insight into the Taliban regime.' Justin Marozzi, Evening Standard
Christina Lamb is diplomatic correspondent of The Sunday Telegraph. Named Young Journalist of the Year in the British Press Awards for her original despatches from Afghanistan, she was recently awarded Foreign Affairs Writer of the Year by the Foreign Press Association. She is also the author of the best-selling The Africa House and Waiting for Allah.