By the winner of the prestigious Mehregan-e-Adab Prize, a book that provides an unblinking portrait of war and violence while remaining defiantly life-affirming throughout. Published in French translation by Gallimard.
KURSORKHI (The Forgotten's Frontier) is a fascinating, profound narrative of life, love, and war.
Starting in 1986, with the flight from the Afghan border to Tehran when Aliyeh Ataei was five years old and ending in 2016, it narrates what happens to her, her family, and her motherland. We see her growing up, without being sure if she is more Afghan or Iranian, lost whether she should stay in a country she loves or go back to a ruined motherland. Through her eyes as a little girl, we witness her father’s sufferings from epileptic seizures. As she turns into a teenager, the socio-historical background weaves together with her intimate world. Her falling in love with her cousin intertwines with the effects of Communism on the region. The love stories of wartime contrast with the identity gap between the youth like her and the exiled to different territories, both barely able to understand each other. She collects her stories about Afghanistan, emigrants, and the border people whose lives have been painfully affected by war. She narrates the need of belonging to a homeland and the challenges this may bring to a teenager far from her own country. Finally, she breathes life in the flight of people who run away from Afghanistan with the aid of human smugglers. She is a witty observer, able to point out the subtle conflicts and contradictions in our world, making a portrait of humanity in a time of deep crisis, all this making us cry and laugh, and above all, helping us understand. A powerful new pen from Iran, with her clear and sharp style, Aliyeh Ataei (Atieh Attarzadeh) reveals truths that shake and upset.