The Taliban Shuffle: Strange Days in Afghanistan and Pakistan
A true-life Catch-22 set in the deeply dysfunctional countries of Afghanistan and Pakistan, by one of the region’s longest-serving correspondents.
Kim Barker is not your typical, impassive foreign correspondent—she is candid, self-deprecating, laugh-out-loud funny. At first an awkward newbie in Afghanistan, she grows into a wisecracking, seasoned reporter with grave concerns about our ability to win hearts and minds in the region. In The Taliban Shuffle, Barker offers an insider’s account of the “forgotten war” in Afghanistan and Pakistan, chronicling the years after America’s initial routing of the Taliban, when we failed to finish the job.
When Barker arrives in Kabul, foreign aid is at a record low, electricity is a pipe dream, and of the few remaining foreign troops, some aren’t allowed out after dark. Meanwhile, in the vacuum left by the U.S. and NATO, the Taliban is regrouping as the Afghan and Pakistani governments flounder. Barker watches Afghan police recruits make a travesty of practice drills and observes the disorienting turnover of diplomatic staff. She is pursued romantically by the former prime minister of Pakistan and sees adrenaline-fueled colleagues disappear into the clutches of the Taliban. And as her love for these hapless countries grows, her hopes for their stability and security fade.
Swift, funny, and wholly original, The Taliban Shuffle unforgettably captures the absurdities and tragedies of life in a war zone.
From the Hardcover edition.
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LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - danoomistmatiste - LibraryThing
If Somalia is the most failed state then Afghanistan and Pakistan are furiously nipping at it's heels for that coveted position and from reading this book it seems that their wishes have been realized ... Read full review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - martensgirl - LibraryThing
This memoir was a real eye-opener into the life of a female journalist working in several Islamic countries. The risks she takes are incredible, as are the stories of corruption, culture clashes ... Read full review