21 February 2008

Earth and Ashes

This very short little book (really a novella) was written in Dari by Atiq Rahimi and translated by Erdag M. Goknar. It's written in second person (I think this is only the second novel I've read in second person) and set in Soviet-occupied Afghanistan.

It's amazing how much you know about the main character after reading such a short book, or really, all the characters. There's more here than meets the eye when you pick the book up. Recommended.

As for books written in second person, I'm still deciding if I like it, but I think I do. Both second-person novels I've read have not been about cheery subjects at all so that doesn't necessarily endear me to the writing style, but the characters are so much more immediate. I might search out a few more. (Or take recommendations!)


  1. I don't think I have ever read a book in second-person. Ever. I can't imagine how it would work. Still. What was the other one you read?

  2. The other one was A Prayer for the Dying. http://amiralace.blogspot.com/2007/04/prayer-for-dying.html

    It had never even occurred to me that you could write a novel in second person, but it works quite well, I think. You'll have to read one to see for yourself though, because it's hard to explain and I don't think I could come up with my own example that would do it justice.