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Download West of Kabul, East of New York: An Afghan American Story Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample West of Kabul, East of New York: An Afghan American Story, by Tamim Ansary Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (572 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Tamim Ansary Narrator: Tamim Ansary Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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The day after the World Trade Center was destroyed, Tamim Ansary sent an anguished e-mail to twenty friends discussing the attack from his perspective as an Afghan American. The message reached millions.

Born to an Afghan father and American mother, Ansary grew up in the intimate world of Afghan family life. When he emigrated to San Francisco, he believed he’d left Afghan culture behind forever. But at the height of the Iranian Revolution, he took a harrowing journey through the Islamic world to rediscover his roots. In the years that followed, he struggled to unite his divided self and to find a place in his imagination where his Afghan and American identities might meet.

Here in his own words is one man’s personal journey through two cultures in conflict.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A book that steadies our skittering compass...It speaks with a modesty of tone and is all the more resonant for that reason[It] sees things we cannot make out and need to.” 

    New York Times

  • “His descriptions of his Afghan childhood are luxe and delicious—crammed with beautiful textiles and wondrous smells, bazaars, casbahs, compounds with courtyards, servants, strawberry patches, ragged mountains.”


  • “[An] emotional and moving memoir, driven by passion and intelligence…It breaks the heart.” 

    Times-Picayune (New Orleans)

  • “[A] powerful, timely book, written with clarity and eloquence…We come to see the humanity behind the country that has come into the international spotlight.”

    Mercury News (San Jose)

  • “Any carping about this being an instant book should be quelled when readers actually encounter Ansary’s considered prose…His descriptions of having lived in and identified alternately with the West and the Islamic world are utterly compelling.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Ansary’s low-key reading adds a humanizing tone.”


  • “[Ansary] tells truths about dislocation, heritage, home, family, and religion that both affirm life and profoundly sadden…Worth any reader’s time.”

    Library Journal

  • “Gracefully written and very powerful, Ansary’s meditative memoir reaches deeper and illuminates more brightly than any news report or political analysis.”


Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Rosalia | 2/7/2014

    " Are you interested in learning more about the conflicts in the Middle East but think the subject may be overwhelming? Please pick up this book. A deeply moving and personal story about Afghanistan; told in a way that only an American can tell it - reminding us the blood of ancient lands runs in all of us. An incrediably easy read. Entertaining. Suitable for teens. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Kat Scoggin | 2/6/2014

    " A quick read by an articulate and thoughtful author. This book sheds a different kind of light on Afghanistan and all that has brought the country into American consciousness - and all that went ignored. This is one man's experience as a bi-cultural sometimes participant and sometimes observer in the tumultuous last 30 years of Afghan history. It provides a high-level, brief, but insightful look at Afghanistan as it was, what it became, and some of the factors that took it there. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Anne | 1/25/2014

    " Excellent followup to the Kite Runner - thanks Steph! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Katie | 1/23/2014

    " I liked the descriptions of his early childhood in the lost world of Afghanistan, and found his observations about bicultural identity and having a "divided soul" to be quite interesting. I found his journey through the Islamic world a little disappointing, but his famous e-mail was very eloquent and well worth reading. "

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