The Patience Stone by Atiq Rahimi.


Set in an unnamed city in "Afghanistan or elsewhere" during one of the interminable civil wars, a woman cares for her comatose husband while he dies of a gunshot wound in the neck. That his dying takes many weeks only makes the wife's nursing duties in the middle of street battles more ludicrous and heart-rending. To pass the time, the woman talks to her husband--at first about inconsequential events and then escalating into more personal secrets. Eventually, like the patience stone that sucks evil out of bad situations, the telling sucks the bitterness out of the woman's abused psyche until--like the stone that bursts to bring the Apocalypse--the woman can no longer tell what is real and what is false. This psychically violent book is a short fable for modern feminism in a constricted society. This novel won France's literature award Prix Goncourt for 2008.

Submitted by Leah @ Wisconsin Talking Book & Braille Library

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