Monday, August 15, 2016

Caravans by James A. Michener

Summary from Amazon:
"First published in 1963, James A. Michener’s gripping chronicle of the social and political landscape of Afghanistan is more relevant now than ever. Combining fact with riveting adventure and intrigue, Michener follows a military man tasked, in the years after World War II, with a dangerous assignment: finding and returning a young American woman living in Afghanistan to her distraught family after she suddenly and mysteriously disappears. A timeless tale of love and emotional drama set against the backdrop of one of the most important countries in the world today, Caravans captures the tension of the postwar period, the sweep of Afghanistan’s remarkable history, and the inescapable allure of the past."

Discussion Questions from
1. ---Is Ellen Jaspar a lost soul ? A "free spirit" ? An idealist ?

2. --- Do you think it is possible for a "ferangi" to become attached to an untamed - perhaps untamable - country like Afghanistan in 1946, or now for that matter, and to wholeheartedly embrace a different faith and culture ?

3. --- How do you feel about the narrator ? Is your impression of him changing as the story progresses ?

4.--- Is the violence that is so much a part of the Afghans' lives the (perhaps inevitable) result of their constant battles against the implacable forces of nature ?

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