The Honey Thief is a lyrical, magical fable set over the last 200 years in Afghanistan, featuring ordinary people facing up to astonishing extremes. Told by native Afghani Najaf Mazari (who fled Afghanistan in 2001 for Australia, where he now lives with his wife and daughter) to writer Robert Hillman, it is a snap shot of the Hazara people - a minority group that still lives in a rocky hills between Kabul and Kandhar. This amazing book , present a enchanting portrait of people who rejoice with intelligence and humor over the oppression of political dictators and an unforgiving landscape.
A narrative of interlinked stories rooted in fact and laced with magical realism, The Honey Thief centers on an engaging cast of characters. There’s the grief –stricken boy who finds his way back to happiness by apprenticing himself to a master beekeeper a musician capable of conjuring stones to rise in to air with the beauty of his playing teaches his art to a mute child; and a young man who wins the heart of a scornful beauty by reading to her from the The Adventure of Huckleberry Finn. There’s Abdul Kaliq, the teenager who killed a king; the Englishman named Dobara, who comes to Hazafajat to take photograph of snow leopard; Konrad ( half German, half Hazara) who sings “Billie Jean” while blazing through war zones on his motorcycle. Being a food blogger and passionate foodie I love the lighthearted funny final part most “The Cookbook of the Master Poisoner Ghorooh – e –astab of Mashad” , where we are introduced with his recipe for poisoned stew Khoresht Aaloo which is followed by several less lethal Hazara dishes. I like most Boulanne which are delicious Afghan pasties and Chelo Nakhod which need above all a chicken but a fat and happy one to make a real delicious dish. I love to share a wisdom from The Honey Thief with my foodie friend that if you want to enjoy the dishes then enjoy the preparation too. When you eat them you can feel proud that these are from my own hand. “ If we are to enjoy food, let it be an enjoyment we earn.”
In a passionate poetic wit and profound simplicity The Honey Thief reveals an unseen Afghanistan to rest of the world, that which is rich,vibrant and full of life. Afghanistan is not of failure and despair, but of resilience and fulfillment. I think The Honey Thief is a charming book and must read for everyone to know the triumph of human spirit over death and destruction.
THE HONEY THIEF ( Viking ; on sale 4/18/13; $ 26.95) I am thankful to Viking for sending me a review copy of The Honey Thief.
Be Happy And Stay Healthy.