A look at a different place and time–from one of the best writers I know.

Mary Smith's Place

As some of you already know I spent a number of years in Afghanistan and have written extensively about my experiences in both prose and poetry. No More Mulberries is a novel set there and Drunk Chickens and Burnt Macaroni is a memoir based on the final three years I spent in Afghanistan.

I have come across the diaries I kept and bits of writing I’d started so this and future posts is by way of a prequel to Drunk Chickens. It begins back in 1986 when I first crossed the border from Pakistan to Afghanistan.

First instalment:

It felt like I had been asleep for only minutes when an insistent hand on my shoulder shook me awake. Hussain was discernible only as a dark shape, denser than the surrounding blackness. There was urgency in the whisper that accompanied the shaking, ‘Time to go. The bus is leaving. Be quick…

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