The Underground Girls of Kabul by Jenny Nordberg audiobook

The Underground Girls of Kabul: In Search of a Hidden Resistance in Afghanistan

By Jenny Nordberg
Read by Kirsten Potter

Random House Audio 9780385538305
10.94 Hours 1
Format : Digital Download (In Stock)
  • $20.00
    or 1 Credit

    ISBN: 9780804166317

    $12.99 With Membership: Learn More

An investigative journalist uncovers a hidden custom in Afghanistan that will transform your understanding of what it means to grow up as a girl. In Afghanistan, a culture ruled almost entirely by men, the birth of a son is cause for celebration and the arrival of a daughter is often mourned as misfortune. A bacha posh (literally translated from Dari as “dressed up like a boy”) is a third kind of child--a girl temporarily raised as a boy and presented as such to the outside world. Jenny Nordberg, the reporter who broke the story of this phenomenon for the New York Times, constructs a powerful and moving account of those secretly living on the other side of a deeply segregated society where women have almost no rights and little freedom. The Underground Girls of Kabul is anchored by vivid characters who bring this remarkable story to life: Azita, a female parliamentarian who sees no other choice but to turn her fourth daughter Mehran into a boy; Zahra, the tomboy teenager who struggles with puberty and refuses her parents’ attempts to turn her back into a girl; Shukria, now a married mother of three after living for twenty years as a man; and Nader, who prays with Shahed, the undercover female police officer, as they both remain in male disguise as adults. At the heart of this emotional narrative is a new perspective on the extreme sacrifices of Afghan women and girls against the violent backdrop of America’s longest war. Divided into four parts, the book follows those born as the unwanted sex in Afghanistan, but who live as the socially favored gender through childhood and puberty, only to later be forced into marriage and childbirth. The Underground Girls of Kabul charts their dramatic life cycles, while examining our own history and the parallels to subversive actions of people who live under oppression everywhere.

Learn More
Membership Details
  • Only $12.99/month gets you 1 Credit/month
  • Cancel anytime
  • Hate a book? Then we do too, and we'll exchange it.
See how it works in 15 seconds

Summary

Summary

A Publishers Weekly Pick of the Week, September 2014

Winner of an AudioFile Earphones Award

An AudioFile Best Audiobook of the Year for 2014

An investigative journalist uncovers a hidden custom in Afghanistan that will transform your understanding of what it means to grow up as a girl. In Afghanistan, a culture ruled almost entirely by men, the birth of a son is cause for celebration and the arrival of a daughter is often mourned as misfortune. A bacha posh (literally translated from Dari as “dressed up like a boy”) is a third kind of child--a girl temporarily raised as a boy and presented as such to the outside world. Jenny Nordberg, the reporter who broke the story of this phenomenon for the New York Times, constructs a powerful and moving account of those secretly living on the other side of a deeply segregated society where women have almost no rights and little freedom. The Underground Girls of Kabul is anchored by vivid characters who bring this remarkable story to life: Azita, a female parliamentarian who sees no other choice but to turn her fourth daughter Mehran into a boy; Zahra, the tomboy teenager who struggles with puberty and refuses her parents’ attempts to turn her back into a girl; Shukria, now a married mother of three after living for twenty years as a man; and Nader, who prays with Shahed, the undercover female police officer, as they both remain in male disguise as adults. At the heart of this emotional narrative is a new perspective on the extreme sacrifices of Afghan women and girls against the violent backdrop of America’s longest war. Divided into four parts, the book follows those born as the unwanted sex in Afghanistan, but who live as the socially favored gender through childhood and puberty, only to later be forced into marriage and childbirth. The Underground Girls of Kabul charts their dramatic life cycles, while examining our own history and the parallels to subversive actions of people who live under oppression everywhere.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“Through extensive interviews with former bacha posh, observation of present ones and conversations with doctors and teachers, Nordberg unearths details of a dynamic that one suspects will be news to the armies of aid workers and gender experts in post-invasion Afghanistan.” New York Times Book Review
“Jenny Nordberg has produced a striking and nuanced work that explores the current status of Afghan women through one of their subcultures…Finely written.” Washington Post
“Nordberg’s immersive reporting reveals an astonishingly clear picture of this resourceful, if imperfect, solution to the problem of girlhood in a society where women have few rights and overwhelming restrictions.” Boston Globe
“A look at the furtive world of girls who pose as boys illuminates the cruelties of Afghanistan’s tradition of male supremacy in this searing exposé…Nordberg’s subtle, sympathetic reportage makes this one of the most convincing portraits of Afghan culture in print; through a small breach in the wall of gender apartheid, she reveals the harsh ironies of a system that so devalues women that it forces them to become men.” Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Investigative journalist Nordberg presents a stunning book that uncovers the history and reality of the enduring Afghani custom of the bacha posh, that is, girls who dress and pass as boys…Readers will find themselves captivated by the stories of these women, especially those who fight to be bacha posh into adulthood. Nordberg has done some staggering work in this unique, important, and compelling chronicle. Book clubs will be riveted and will talk for hours.” Booklist (starred review)
“This is a thoroughly engrossing account of the ‘Bacha Posh’ girls of Afghanistan…Narrator Kirsten Potter takes an intellectual-sounding approach that befits the author, a journalist who conducted extensive personal interviews during research in Afghanistan. Potter’s tone is analytical as she dissects the cultural and personal reasons that lead families to transform their daughters into Bacha Post before they have to switch back at puberty to the much restricted norms of Afghan females. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award.” AudioFile
“A journalist’s fascinating study of the Afghan subculture of young girls raised to be boys…An intelligent and timely exploration into contemporary Afghanistan.” Kirkus Reviews

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: Jenny Nordberg

Author Bio: Jenny Nordberg

Jenny Nordberg is an award-winning journalist based in New York. A correspondent and columnist for Swedish national newspaper Svenska Dagbladet, she has a long record of investigative reports for, among others, the New York Times, where she also contributed to a series that won the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting. In 2010 she was awarded the Robert F. Kennedy Award for Excellence in Journalism for a television documentary on Afghan women. She is a member of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.

Titles by Author

Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download
Category: Nonfiction/Social Science
Runtime: 10.94
Audience: Adult
Language: English