ISBN 9780701184162,The Patience Stone

The Patience Stone


Atiq Rahimi


Chatto & Windus



Chatto & Windus

Publication Year 2010

ISBN 9780701184162

ISBN-10 0701184167


Number of Pages 160 Pages
Language (English)

General & literary fiction

Winner of France's prestigious Goncourt Prize for 2008, and set in modern-day Aghanistan, this explosive, controversial and moving short novel, with a shocking twist, takes a compelling literary look behind the veil, daring to confront taboos of female oppression and sexuality.

A young woman sits at her husband's bedside, twisting her worry beads, reciting prayers. Shot in the neck by a fellow soldier, he is in a coma. The passage of time is measured by the sound of his breathing, the slow drip that keeps him alive and the calls to prayer in the streets outside. Consumed by her vigil and his medical care, the woman is alone and desperate for any sign of life from her comatose husband. As her mind appears to unravel, so it becomes intensely clear-sighted. Now is her chance to speak without being censored. Empowered by her husband's silence she steps out of the shadows of convention and repression and begins her confessional....

She pours out her love and her hate, her sexual desires and her hopes, as though to the black patience stone of Persian mythology (which takes in your sins and woes, and eventually shatters... leaving you delivered of pain and suffering). Finally, spurred to new heights of daring, she spills out her most explosive secret.