Hussein Mohammadi's novella "Scheherazade's heirs"
Keep writing! Literature from Afghanistan
The "Weiter Schreiben" (Keep Writing) project promotes literature from war-torn and crisis-stricken regions and has, most recently, shone its spotlight on Afghanistan. Afghan author Hussein Mohammadi's debut novella is an outstanding work that crosses frontiers. Gerrit Wustmann read the book
Nathan Englander's "kaddish.com"
Guilt and belated mourning rights
In Nathan Englander's novel "kaddish.com", a Jewish man is plagued by feelings of guilt and regret for disregarding the rules of the Kaddish (prayer for the dead) for his deceased father a decade before. A witty yet simultaneously melancholy novel for all readers, not just people of faith. By Volker Kaminski
Young Persian fiction
"Dort": weird fiction fresh from Iran
Literature by young Iranian authors is rare in German. Publisher and translator Arash Alborz aims to change this with his literary magazine, 'dort'. Do the first two editions live up to that promise? Gerrit Wustmann took a look for Qantara.de
Navid Kermani‘s "Questions about God"
How do we believe?
In his latest book, Navid Kermani poses questions about God. It feels like no one could have done it better. His writing elicits smiles, doubt and wonder. By Melanie Christina Mohr
Interview with Iranian-German author Siba Shakib
"The notion of home is bound up with loss"
Iranian-German author and filmmaker Siba Shakib was born in Tehran. Her best-selling novels deal with themes of heritage and the past. She speaks to Qantara.de about her new novel "Der Kirschbaum, den sie ihrer Mutter nie schenkte" (The Cherry Tree She Never Gave Her Mother), home, religion and the identity politics debate. Interview conducted by Schayan Riaz
Book review: Raihana Raha's "My Mother's Tales"
Fairy tales depicting independent Afghan women
Raihana Raha's debut book, a collection of Afghan tales, offers a timely perspective on the history of Afghanistan, its patriarchal society and social morality, as the Taliban makes rapid territorial gains. By Changiz M. Varzi
"The Pearl of Dari" by Zuzanna Olszewska
Treasuring their common Persian heritage
A book about young Afghan poets in exile casts a new perspective on Afghans in Iran. Marian Brehmer read the Oxford anthropologist Zuzanna Olszewska′s study
The Afghan author Taqi Akhlaqi
The not-so-universal art of writing
What makes an Afghan author turn to writing? What moves and inspires him? Many things are just the same as for authors in other parts of the world, but Afghanistan presents particular challenges, especially when the author starts to think about publication. A meditation by Taqi Akhlaqi on the inner and outer lives of the writer
Sufis in Afghanistan
The forgotten mystics of the Hindu Kush
Sufism has shaped Afghan society and politics for much of the country's history. Today, very few are aware of this legacy. Might the Sufis now provide an important contribution to the stability of the country? By Marian Brehmer
Afghan idioms and proverbs
"The arrival of the king leads to the downfall of the village"
Afghanistan is a multi-ethnic nation with language rich in idioms and proverbs. These are an integral element of the country's culture, although less familiar to young Afghans these days. The German-Afghan Noor Nazrabi has collected many idioms and published a reference book in German and Dari. Kathrin Erdmann met the author
Afghan Comedian Asif Jalali
Wit at a Time of War
According to Afghan comedian and TV star Asif Jalali, it is much easier to make people in Afghanistan cry than it is to make them laugh. In his TV show he sets out to do the latter, with great success. By Tobias Matern
Interview with Atiq Rahimi
Unable to Move Forward
In an interview with Shikiba Babori, the exiled Afghan author Atiq Rahimi criticizes the West's donor mentality in reconstructing Afghanistan and the indolence of the Afghan people, who he says have grown too accustomed to depending on foreign aid