A Fort of Nine Towers

A Fort of Nine Towers

An Afghan Family Story

Book - 2013
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The surprising, stunning book that took the publishing world by storm: a coming-of-age memoir of unimaginable perils and unexpected joys, steeped in the rhythms of folk tales and poetry, that is as unforgettable as it is rare--a treasure for readers.
Qais Akbar Omar was born in Kabul in a time of relative peace. Until he was 7, he lived with his father, a high school physics teacher, and mother, a bank manager, in the spacious, garden-filled compound his grandfather had built. Noisy with the laughter of his cousins (with whom they lived in the typical Afghan style), fragrant with the scent of roses and apple blossoms, and rich in shady, tucked-away spots where Qais and his grandfather sat and read, home was the idyllic centre of their quiet, comfortable life.
But in the wake of the Russian withdrawal and the bloody civil conflict that erupted, his family was forced to flee and take refuge in the legendary Fort of Nine Towers, a centuries-old palace in the hills on the far side of Kabul. On a perilous trip home, Omar and his father were kidnapped, narrowly escaping, and the family fled again, his parents leading their 6 children on a remarkable, sometimes wondrous journey. Hiding inside the famous giant Bamiyan Buddhas sculpture, and among Kurchi herders, Omar cobbles together an education, learning the beautiful art of carpet-weaving from a deaf mute girl, which will become the family's means of support. Against a backdrop of uncertainty, violence and absurdity, young Qais Omar weaves together a story--and a self--that is complex, colourful, and profound.

Publisher: Toronto : Knopf Canada, c2013.
ISBN: 9780307362681
Characteristics: viii, 396 p. :,maps ;,24 cm.


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Sep 06, 2018

This book was very well written in detail. Some parts were disturbing for what this gentleman went through as a child growing up in Afghanistan. It is interesting that many Afghans thought the Taliban brought a sense of security and order when they began to take over.

One of the best books I've ever read. Omar's writing reads like poetry.

Jan 13, 2017

This book read like a novel. I now have a vivid picture of one family's life in Afghanistan.

Jan 08, 2016

I could not put this book down. I read it in four days and didn't want it to end. It is tragic, sad, and disturbing, but also full of hope, life and love. As the other readers testified, it is unforgettable. A must read.

Apr 09, 2015

Excellent book . One warning regarding the chapter The Dog I was sorry I read this chapter as it was so cruel I cannot get the images out of my head and never will .I understand it is hard to leave out a chapter but I would still say it was an excellent book without reading this chapter.

Jul 07, 2014

Everyone interested in learning about the real Afghanistan and its recent history should read this book.

brady531 May 05, 2014

This is an amazing book. I could not put it down. I highly recommend it.

Oct 25, 2013


Jun 30, 2013

This man's story was gripping as we followed him and his family from his childhood through becoming an adult. Rather than focusing exclusively on all of the misery and horror (which he describes), it includes family warmth and a lot of humor. I highly recommend it!

Jun 19, 2013

Alhamdulilah! One of the best books I've EVER read. I'm so glad I found this title and I'm excited that it's also recommended by O, The Oprah Magazine this month. Everyone on the planet needs to read this book and fall in love - yes, I said fall in love with - Afghanistan and her people.

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