Cover image for Opium nation : child brides, drug lords, and one woman's journey through Afghanistan
Opium nation : child brides, drug lords, and one woman's journey through Afghanistan
Nawa, Fariba.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Harper Perennial, [2011]

Physical Description:
viii, 358 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations (some color) ; 21 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
HD9675.O653 A363 2011 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
HD9675.O653 A363 2011 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
HD9675.O653 A363 2011 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



Afghan-American journalist Fariba Nawa delivers a revealing and deeply personal explorationof Afghanistan and the drug trade which rules the country, from corruptofficials to warlords and child brides and beyond. KhaledHosseini, author of The Kite Runner and AThousand Splendid Suns calls Opium Nation "an insightful andinformative look at the global challenge of Afghan drug trade. Fariba Nawa weaves her personalstory of reconnecting with her homeland after 9/11 with a very engagingnarrative that chronicles Afghanistan's dangerous descent into opiumtrafficking...and most revealingly, how the drug trade has damaged the lives ofordinary Afghan people." Readers of Gayle Lemmon Tzemach'sThe Dressmaker of Khair Khanaand Rory Stewart's The Places Between will find Nawa'spersonal, piercing, journalistic tale to be an indispensable addition to thecultural criticism covering this dire global crisis.

Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

In this powerful and occasionally tragic account, journalist Nawa returns to Afghanistan, which she fled at the age of nine to escape the Soviet occupation. She spends several years traveling the country to interview Afghans involved in the opium trade, "an all-encompassing market that directly affects the daily lives of Afghans in a way that nothing else does." Tied to Nawa's journey is a quest to strengthen her Afghan identity and reconcile it with her American self. Although comforted by her ability to "change nationalities, hiding one and bringing forth another," she doesn't feel like she belongs fully to either culture. Nawa draws rich, complex portraits of subjects on both sides of the law, people like Farzana and Nanzaneen, a pair of women training to become drug enforcement agents; Mr. Jawan, a kindly former drug smuggler; and Parween, a female poppy farmer whose crops were destroyed by soldiers because she failed to pay off the right people. A chance meeting with Darya, a 12-year-old girl sold into marriage in order to settle her father's opium debt, propels the book toward its climax: a search for the girl in one of Afghanistan's most dangerous regions. Nawa's work is remarkable for its depth, honesty, and commitment to recording women's stories, even when it means putting her own safety at risk. She writes with passion about the history of her volatile homeland and with cautious optimism about its future. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Table of Contents

Prologuep. 1
1 Home After Eighteen Yearsp. 5
2 Four Decades of Unrestp. 30
3 A Struggle for Coherencyp. 55
4 My Father's Voyagep. 69
5 Meeting Daryap. 90
6 A Smuggling Traditionp. 106
7 The Opium Bridep. 118
8 Traveling on the Border of Deathp. 128
9 Where the Poppies Bloomp. 149
10 The Smiles of Badakhshanp. 168
11 My Mother's Kabulp. 183
12 Women on Both Sides of the Lawp. 199
13 Adventures in Karte Parwanp. 216
14 Raids in Takharp. 230
15 Uprisings Against Warlordsp. 242
16 The Good Agentsp. 258
17 In Search of Daryap. 273
18 Through the Meshp. 287
19 Letting Gop. 305
Epiloguep. 314
Acknowledgmentsp. 319
Notesp. 321
Bibliographyp. 335
Indexp. 345