99 Nights in Logar
Jamil Jan Kochai
Shortlisted for the DSC Prize 2019
Laconic, sharp and playful, 99 Nights in Logar is a stunning coming-of-age novel and a portrait of Afghanistan like no other, from an unforgettable new voice
Me and Gul and Zia and Dawoud out on the roads of Logar, together, for the first time, hoping to get Budabash back home before nightfall
It is 2005 in Logar, Afghanistan, and twelve-year-old Marwand has returned from America with his family for the summer. He loses the tip of his finger to the village dog, Budabash, who then escapes. Marwand’s quest to find Budabash, over 99 nights, begins.
The resulting search is an exuberantly told adventure, one that takes Marwand and his cousins across Logar, through mazes, into floods and unexpected confrontations with American soldiers. Moving between celebrations and tragedies, Marwand must confront family secrets and his own identity as he returns to a home he’s missed for six years. Deeply humorous and surprisingly tender, 99 Nights in Logar is a vibrant exploration of the power of stories – the ones we tell each other, and the ones we find ourselves in.
Charming and unpredictable ... A narrative style fizzing with surprise * Observer * As in Khaled Hosseini's The Kite Runner, Kochai uses the viewpoint of a child to shape a narrative that presents the realities of war with a degree of innocence. But where Hosseini shocks, Kochai, whose band of teenagers are loutish, naughty and effortlessly funny, has a rarer talent: he makes us laugh * Literary Review * A revelation, in every sense of the word ... A romp, a poem, a prayer, a song of childhood, like youth itself, the writing is all energy, adventure, and possibility. Jamil Jan Kochai is an astoundingly talented writer. Listen up * Justin Torres, author of We the Animals * Imagine a twelve-year-old Don Quixote traversing a world full of absurdities and tragedies ... Hilariously sad and heartbreakingly funny. Jamil Jan Kochai, a thrilling new writer, achieves in this book that rare quality of a storyteller both ageless and contemporary * Yiyun Li, author of Gold Boy, Emerald Girl * Ferocious, funny, rude, and freewheeling, 99 Nights in Logar is an insider's portrait of modern Afghanistan - written with deep affection and zero piety. A brilliant and stylish debut * Karan Mahajan, author of The Association of Small Bombs * A first novel of tremendous promise. 99 Nights in Logar unfolds with complexity and inventiveness, revealing the many ways each generation must contend with the decisions of the generations before. An auspicious debut that captures with great urgency what awaits the generation coming of age now * Idra Novey, author of Ways to Disappear * In 99 Nights in Logar, Jamil Jan Kochai has salvaged the bones of a country's history, its unending wars, and the enduring human ties that have kept it together. A magical tale, tender and wildly imaginative * Amitava Kumar, author of Immigrant, Montana * An absorbing portrait of life in contemporary Afghanistan that is simultaneously raucous and heart-rending, told from a perspective we rarely hear ... With beautiful prose that encompasses the brutality of life in Afghanistan without overshadowing the warmth of family, culture and storytelling, Kochai delivers a gorgeous and kaleidoscopic portrait of a land we're used to seeing through a single, insufficient lens: the war on terror. A vivid and moving novel about heritage, history and the family bonds that transcend culture * Kirkus Reviews * This coming-of-age debut novel from the Pakistani-American author captures contemporary Afghanistan and refreshingly strays from the stereotypes of war-zone and conflict that we've come to associate with the country * Cosmopolitan *
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