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Insightful guide to life in the war zone that is Afghanistan

This is an extract from a review of Dispatches from the Kabul Cafe published by Tribune. To read the full article, visit the Tribune website.

Review by Paul Donovan

Journalist Heidi Kingstone has produced a number of sketches that when drawn together provide a fascinating insight into life in war-torn Afghanistan. Living in the expat community between 2007 and 2011, Kingstone takes out her journalistic pen to create an overall picture of life illuminated by an array of characters.

The many incidents take in mercenaries, soldiers, cleaners, NGO workers, fashionistas, activists and just people struggling to get by in a country torn apart by war. It is not all blood and destruction, though. Kingstone is able to convey a real love for Afghanistan and its people – something that is all too rare in accounts written about that country over the past few decades.

The author has an ability to adopt an objective, detached position, while offering real insight into the individuals concerned. Remarkably, she even manages to achieve this feat with regard to those with whom she has passing relationships. Such accounts add a certain amount of spice and perspective to proceedings.

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