Tuesday Intros & Teaser Tuesdays - 'The Undeground Girls of Kabul' by Jenny Nordberg

I'm reading an absolutely amazing book from Netgalley at the moment, The Underground Girls of Kabul by Jenny Nordberg. I requested it ages ago and never really got to it
An investigative journalist uncovers a hidden custom that will transform your understanding of what it means to grow up as a girl
In Afghanistan, a culture ruled almost entirely by men, the birth of a son is cause for celebration and the arrival of a daughter is often mourned as misfortune. A bacha posh(literally translated from Dari as “dressed up like a boy”) is a third kind of child – a girl temporarily raised as a boy and presented as such to the outside world. Jenny Nordberg, the reporter who broke the story of this phenomenon for the New York Times, constructs a powerful and moving account of those secretly living on the other side of a deeply segregated society where women have almost no rights and little freedom. 
The Underground Girls of Kabul is anchored by vivid characters who bring this remarkable story to life: Azita, a female parliamentarian who sees no other choice but to turn her fourth daughter Mehran into a boy; Zahra, the tomboy teenager who struggles with puberty and refuses her parents' attempts to turn her back into a girl; Shukria, now a married mother of three after living for twenty years as a man; and Nader, who prays with Shahed, the undercover female police officer, as they both remain in male disguise as adults. 
At the heart of this emotional narrative is a new perspective on the extreme sacrifices of Afghan women and girls against the violent backdrop of America's longest war. Divided into four parts, the book follows those born as the unwanted sex in Afghanistan, but who live as the socially favored gender through childhood and puberty, only to later be forced into marriage and childbirth. The Underground Girls of Kabul charts their dramatic life cycles, while examining our own history and the parallels to subversive actions of people who live under oppression everywhere.
It sounds amazing and from what I have read so far, it is as interesting as the blurb promises.

Tuesday Intros is hosted by Diane over at Bibliophile by the Sea and Teaser Tuesdays is hosted over at A Daily Rhythm.

'Prologue:The transition begins here.I remove the black head scarf and tuck it into my backpack. My hair stays in a knotted bun on the back of my head.' 2%
'Chapter one:'"Our brother is really a girl."' 2%
I liked both of these beginnings. Although the beginning of Chapter 1 is a bit more eye-catching, the prologue was a great way of settling the reader in with the main character.
'Similar to Carol's take on the subject, it made a certain sense to Nancy: "Segregation calls for creativity, she told me."' 7%
I'm not very far into the book yet as you can see and I didn't want to jump ahead. Also, I thought this teaser was really interesting because I definitely think it's true. When people are suppressed they find ways around it.

Have you read this book? And what do you think of it?


  1. This is one I have wish-listed. Looks amazing!

  2. I would love to read more. It sounds like a good one.benjoy

  3. Wow. That sounds like an amazing book. Definitely one for my wishlist.

  4. Amazing and sad at the same time. Sound like an excellent read.

  5. Sounds fascinating! I am always sympathetic to women growing up in a culture that denigrates them because of their gender.

    Thanks for sharing...and for visiting my blog.

  6. I've heard a bit about this. I'm kind of confused because if the society doesn't embrace females, wouldn't the men there still know that the person was actually a female posing as a man?

    How heartbreaking and confusing for the child being told you aren't worthy as you are. I am interested; perhaps I would like to pick this up, thanks.

  7. I've heard such amazing things about this one and need to get to it - it's been on my TBR forever. Maybe this Nonfiction November :)

  8. Just that one change, and her life will probably change completely. Have a good week.

  9. This looks like such an interesting book, I'm definitely keen to know more and I'd love to pick this book up. Thanks for visiting my Tuesday post https://cleopatralovesbooks.wordpress.com/2015/04/28/first-chapter-first-paragraph-april-28/

  10. I've heard good things about this book too. I think I'd have to be in the right mood to read it, but I'm keeping it in mind. Thanks for sharing it!

  11. You convinced me. I want to read this book. My heart is already breaking for these girls.

  12. I have this on my TBR list! Really wanted to read it since I'm a Muslim too and it is just shocking the way they treated women in other countries.


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