On Sale: August 16, 2016
Hardcover / e-Book
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Trade Size (reprint - May 2017)
Women's Fiction | Literature and Fiction
A vivid, unforgettable story of an unlikely sisterhood—an
emotionally powerful and haunting tale of friendship that
illuminates the plight of women in a traditional culture—
from the author of the bestselling The Pearl That Broke
Its Shell and When the Moon Is Low.
For two decades, Zeba was a loving wife, a patient
mother, and a peaceful villager. But her quiet life is
shattered when her husband, Kamal, is found brutally
murdered with a hatchet in the courtyard of their home.
Nearly catatonic with shock, Zeba is unable to account
for her whereabouts at the time of his death. Her
children swear their mother could not have committed such
a heinous act. Kamal’s family is sure she did, and
Barely escaping a vengeful mob, Zeba is arrested and
jailed. As Zeba awaits trial, she meets a group of women
whose own misfortunes have also led them to these bleak
cells: thirty-year-old Nafisa, imprisoned to protect her
from an honor killing; twenty-five-year-old Latifa, who
ran away from home with her teenage sister but now stays
in the prison because it is safe shelter; and nineteen-
year-old Mezhgan, pregnant and unmarried, waiting for her
lover’s family to ask for her hand in marriage. Is Zeba a
cold-blooded killer, these young women wonder, or has she
been imprisoned, as they have been, for breaking some
social rule? For these women, the prison is both a haven
and a punishment. Removed from the harsh and unforgiving
world outside, they form a lively and indelible
Into this closed world comes Yusuf, Zeba’s Afghan-born,
American-raised lawyer, whose commitment to human rights
and desire to help his motherland have brought him back.
With the fate of this seemingly ordinary housewife in his
hands, Yusuf discovers that, like Afghanistan itself, his
client may not be at all what he imagines.
A moving look at the lives of modern Afghan women, A
House Without Windows is astonishing, frightening, and
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