99 Nights in Logar: Book summary and reviews of 99 Nights in Logar by Jamil Jan Kochai

99 Nights in Logar

by Jamil Jan Kochai

99 Nights in Logar by Jamil Jan Kochai X
99 Nights in Logar by Jamil Jan Kochai
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  • Published in USA  Jan 2019
    288 pages
    Genre: Novels

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Book Summary

A coming-of-age story about one boy's journey across contemporary Afghanistan to find and bring home the family dog, blending the grit and immediacy of voice-driven fiction like We Need New Names with the mythmaking of One Thousand and One Nights.

Twelve-year-old Marwand's memories from his previous visit to Afghanistan six years ago center on his contentious relationship with Budabash, the terrifying but beloved dog who guards his extended family's compound in Logar. Eager to find an ally in this place that's meant to be "home," Marwand approaches Budabash the way he would any dog on his American suburban block - and the results are disastrous: Marwand loses a finger and Budabash escapes.

The resulting search for the family dog is an expertly told adventure, a ninety-nine-night quest that sends Marwand and his cousins across the landscape of Logar. Moving between celebrations and tragedies, deeply humorous and surprisingly tender, 99 Nights in Logar is a vibrant exploration of the power of stories - the ones we tell each other, and the ones we find ourselves in.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"An imaginative, enthralling, and lyrical exploration of coming home - and coming-of-age - set amid the political tensions of modern Afghanistan. ... Kochai is a masterful storyteller." - Publishers Weekly

"Kochai captures the joys and the sorrows of life in Afghanistan, offering readers a glimpse into everyday life in a country whose people have grown so used to constant bombardment that they can differentiate between various types of IEDs by sound alone." - Booklist

"[For] lovers of literary fiction ... Filled with adventure and seen through the eyes of twelve-year-old Marwand, Jamil Jan Kochai's 99 Nights in Logar follows the young boy's journey across present-day Afghanistan in search of Budabash, the family dog that has escaped." - Southern Living   

"Ferocious, funny, rude, and freewheeling, 99 Nights in Logar is an insider's portrait of modern Afghanistan - written with deep affection and zero piety. A brilliant and stylish debut." - Karan Mahajan, author of The Association of Small Bombs

"Imagine a twelve-year-old Don Quixote traversing a world full of absurdities and tragedies. Imagine The Arabian Nights set with America overshadowing an ancient landscape. 99 Nights in Logar is hilariously sad and heartbreakingly funny. Jamil Jan Kochai, a thrilling new writer, achieves in this book that rare quality of a storyteller both ageless and contemporary." - Yiyun Li, author of Kinder Than Solitude

"99 Nights in Logar is a revelation, in every sense of the word. An intimate look at childhood, at an Afghan province, at people and places as they deserve to be known, in all their complications. This is a novel that mourns all that has been lost, and chases after what might still be recovered. A romp, a poem, a prayer, a song of childhood—like youth itself, the writing is all energy, adventure, and possibility. Jamil Kochai is an astoundingly talented writer, listen up." - Justin Torres, author of We the Animals

"As alive to the present as to the past, Jamil Jan Kochai has crafted a first novel of tremendous promise. 99 Nights in Logar unfolds with complexity and inventiveness, revealing the many ways each generation must contend with the decisions of the generations before. An auspicious debut that captures with great urgency what awaits the generation coming of age now." - Idra Novey, author of Those Who Knew

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Author Information

Jamil Jan Kochai

Jamil Jan Kochai was born in Pakistan and grew up in the United States. He has a master's in English from University of California, Davis and a bachelor's degree in English from California State University, Sacramento. He is currently attending the Iowa Writers' Workshop, and has been published in A Public Space and The Capilano Review.

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