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The Patience Stone: A Novel
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"For far too long, Afghan women have been faceless and voiceless. Until now. With The Patience Stone, Atiq Rahimi gives face and voice to one unforgettable woman–and, one could argue, offers her as a proxy for the grievances of millions...it is a rich read, part allegory, part a tale of retribution, part an exploration of honor, love, sex, marriage, war. It is without doubt an important and courageous book." from the introduction by Khaled Hosseini, author of The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns In Persian folklore, Syngue Sabour is the name of a magical black stone, a patience stone, which absorbs the plight of those who confide in it. It is believed that the day it explodes, after having received too much hardship and pain, will be the day of the Apocalypse. But here, the Syngue Sabour is not a stone but rather a man lying brain-dead with a bullet lodged in his neck. His wife is with him, sitting by his side. But she resents him for having sacrificed her to the war, for never being able to resist the call to arms, for wanting to be a hero, and in the end, after all was said and done, for being incapacitated in a small skirmish. Yet she cares, and she speaks to him. She even talks to him more and more, opening up her deepest desires, pains, and secrets. While in the streets rival factions clash and soldiers are looting and killing around her, she speaks of her life, never knowing if her husband really hears. And it is an extraordinary confession, without restraint, about sex and love and her anger against a man who never understood her, who mistreated her, who never showed her any respect or kindness. Her admission releases the weight of oppression of marital, social, and religious norms, and she leads her story up to the great secret that is unthinkable in a country such as Afghanistan. Winner of the Prix Goncourt, The Patience Stone captures with great courage and spare, poetic, prose the reality of everyday life for an intelligent woman under the oppressive weight of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan.
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Street Date:
01/19/2010
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781590513828
ASIN:
B0030P1W9U
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APA Citation (style guide)

Atiq Rahimi. (2010). The Patience Stone: A Novel. Other Press.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Atiq Rahimi. 2010. The Patience Stone: A Novel. Other Press.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Atiq Rahimi, The Patience Stone: A Novel. Other Press, 2010.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Atiq Rahimi. The Patience Stone: A Novel. Other Press, 2010. Web.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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      • role: Author
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      • bioText: Atiq Rahimi was born in Afghanistan in 1962, and fled to France in 1984, where he became the Prix Goncourt-winning author of The Patience Stone in 2008, and directed the film version of his novel Earth and Ashes, which won the Prix du Regard vers l'Avenir at Cannes in 2004. His adaptation of The Patience Stone, which he cowrote and directed, was the Afghan entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the Academy Awards. He has recently set up a Writers' House in Kabul to provide support and training to young writers and filmmakers. He lives in Paris.
        Polly McLean was born in South Africa, grew up in Paris, and made her career as a freelance translator in Oxford, England. Winner of the 2009 Scott Moncrieff Prize for French translation, she has translated titles by actresses Catherine Deneuve and Sylvia Kristel, as well as acclaimed works by the award-winning author Philippe Grimbert.
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imprint
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publishDate
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title
The Patience Stone
fullDescription
"For far too long, Afghan women have been faceless and voiceless. Until now. With The Patience Stone, Atiq Rahimi gives face and voice to one unforgettable woman–and, one could argue, offers her as a proxy for the grievances of millions...it is a rich read, part allegory, part a tale of retribution, part an exploration of honor, love, sex, marriage, war. It is without doubt an important and courageous book." from the introduction by Khaled Hosseini, author of The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns
In Persian folklore, Syngue Sabour is the name of a magical black stone, a patience stone, which absorbs the plight of those who confide in it. It is believed that the day it explodes, after having received too much hardship and pain, will be the day of the Apocalypse. But here, the Syngue Sabour is not a stone but rather a man lying brain-dead with a bullet lodged in his neck. His wife is with him, sitting by his side. But she resents him for having sacrificed her to the war, for never being able to resist the call to arms, for wanting to be a hero, and in the end, after all was said and done, for being incapacitated in a small skirmish. Yet she cares, and she speaks to him. She even talks to him more and more, opening up her deepest desires, pains, and secrets. While in the streets rival factions clash and soldiers are looting and killing around her, she speaks of her life, never knowing if her husband really hears. And it is an extraordinary confession, without restraint, about sex and love and her anger against a man who never understood her, who mistreated her, who never showed her any respect or kindness. Her admission releases the weight of oppression of marital, social, and religious norms, and she leads her story up to the great secret that is unthinkable in a country such as Afghanistan. Winner of the Prix Goncourt, The Patience Stone captures with great courage and spare, poetic, prose the reality of everyday life for an intelligent woman under the oppressive weight of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan.
reviews
      • premium: False
      • source: Ambassador Ryan Crocker, former U.S. Envoy to Afghanistan, Ambassador to Pakistan, and Ambassador to Iraq
      • content: "In spare, unflinching prose, Atiq Rahimi gives us Afghanistan's terrible legacy in the story of one woman's suffering. Anyone seeking to understand why Afghanistan is difficult and what decades of violence have done to its people should read this book. Rahimi is a superb guide to a hard and complex land."
      • premium: False
      • source: Los Angeles Times
      • content: "The Patience Stone is perfectly written: spare, close to the bone, sometimes bloody, with a constant echo, like a single mistake that repeats itself over and over and over."
      • premium: False
      • source: New York Post
      • content: "This story from an Afghan-born author is a powerful one, giving voice to the historically downtrodden Afghan woman...truly an expansive work of literature."
      • premium: False
      • source: San Francisco Chronicle
      • content: "[A] clever novel...readers get a glimpse of daily life in a country terrorized by conflict and religious fundamentalism. Rahimi paints this picture with nuance and subtlety...[His] sparse prose complements his simple yet powerful storytelling prowess. This unique story is both enthralling and disturbing."
      • premium: False
      • source: Words Without Borders
      • content: "A slender, devastating exploration of one woman's tormented inner life, which won the 2008 Prix Goncourt...The novel, asserts [Khaled] Hosseini in his glowing introduction, finally gives a complex, nuanced, and savage voice to the grievances of millions."
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        October 26, 2009
        Rahimi (Earth and Ashes
        ) won the 2008 Prix Goncourt for this brief, melodramatic novel set amid factional violence “somewhere in Afghanistan or elsewhere.” It follows the circumscribed movements of a Muslim woman largely confined to the house where she nurses her comatose husband, who's been shot by a fellow jihadist. A humorless, inflammatory mullah pays the woman unwelcome visits, and sexually menacing soldiers break into her house. Though such events generate tension and drama, the novel's cultural and historical milieu lacks specificity, and Rahimi may have erred in sketching the story's political context vaguely. For some readers, his intimate attention to objects and spaces may compensate for the grating confessional tenor that develops later, when the narrator divulges damning secrets to her husband's unresponsive body and fulfilling the book's premise a little too obviously by referring to him as her “patience stone.” McLean's translation is faultless, but the narrator's reminiscences feel stilted; the patience-stone conceit borders on gimmickry; and incidents of a violent or sexual nature seem overdetermined.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        Starred review from November 15, 2009
        The patience stone, according to Persian folklore, is a small black stone that absorbs what people confide in it. Filmmaker Rahimi ("Earth and Ashes") casts as the stone a person, one of the two nameless characters in this allegorical tale. Everything takes place in one room in the modest home of a fundamentalist Islamic war hero who lies comatose. His wife cleans him, moistens his open eyes, and feeds him a sugar/salt solution through a drip. She is distraught with her husband's state, the plight of her two young daughters, and the unnamed conflict going on outside her home. After talking politely to her husband and saying endless prayers, she gradually comes to pour out a fierce treatise on women's place in society, love, sex, marriage, and war. VERDICT Rahimi's lyric prose is simple and poetic, and McLean's translation is superb. With an introduction by Khaled Hosseini, this Prix Goncourt-winning book should have a profound impact on the literature of Afghanistan for its brave portrayal of, among other things, an Afghan woman as a sexual being.Lisa Rohrbaugh, National Coll., Youngstown, OH

        Copyright 2009 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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"For far too long, Afghan women have been faceless and voiceless. Until now. With The Patience Stone, Atiq Rahimi gives face and voice to one unforgettable woman–and, one could argue, offers her as a proxy for the grievances of millions...it is a rich read, part allegory, part a tale of retribution, part an exploration of honor, love, sex, marriage, war. It is without doubt an important and courageous book." from the introduction by Khaled Hosseini, author of The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns
In Persian folklore, Syngue Sabour is the name of a magical black stone, a patience stone, which absorbs the plight of those who confide in it. It is believed that the day it explodes, after having received too much hardship and pain, will be the day of the Apocalypse. But here, the Syngue Sabour is not a stone but rather a man lying brain-dead with a bullet lodged in his neck. His wife is with him, sitting by his side. But she resents him for having...
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