martes, 28 de enero de 2014

No More Mulberries…. Drunk Chickens and Burnt Macaroni by Mary Smith (Review)

No More Mulberries…. Drunk Chickens and Burnt Macaroni by Mary Smith
Reviewed by Alex Canton-Dutari

I have always been a sucker for non-fiction works, as well as real-life fiction.  The latter is a genre that may not exist officially, but I use it to describe stories that are so credible that even though there is a previous disclaimer the fiction seems real.  No More Mulberries is a novel, whereas Drunk Chickens and Burnt Macaroni is presented as a collection of stories -- however, the main characters reappear giving the impression of a novel. 
Ms Smith depicts the perils of working in Afghanistan during troubled times, and shows what seems to be a mantel of situations that Afghans still are dealing with. The main sociological aspect is the plight of women, but described through the eyes of an Afghan woman -- in spite of the author being from Scotland -- which is very different than what has been reported in the media. She reminds us that the road to equality between men and women in the world is not that different than how it is walked through in Afghanistan. A shocking detail was learning that the world reacted more to the threat of the bombing of the Buddha statues than to the famine the Afghans were going through at the time.

I found quite a few bumps on the road of storytelling in the form of liberal punctuation, but though this may bother some readers I was taken by the powerful stories with their particular cultural insights.