A Walk in the Dust Clouds
Padlock IconThis article is only a portion of the full article. If you are already a premium subscriber please login. If you are not a premium subscriber, please subscribe for access to all of our content.

Published in: November-December 2009 issue.


Kabuli DaysKabuli Days: Travels in Old Afghanistan
by Edward Field
World Parade Books. 148 pages, $15.


IN 1971, the poet Edward Field did the unimaginable: he bought a ticket to Afghanistan, inspired mainly by a photograph he had seen in a National Geographic. He was almost fifty years old, an age when most men aren’t looking for a travel experience involving hotel rooms without water, landscapes thick with the smell of human and animal waste, and local police who tend to regard you as a potential criminal.

But the ever adventurous Field put his fears aside and embarked on a trip that produced Kabuli Days: Travels in Old Afghanistan, one of the most interesting travel diaries I’ve read. For a Jewish gay man to commit to spending a year in a rural Muslim environment took a lot of courage. In 1971, for Westerners the Islamic world was still a place of romance: Lawrence of Arabia and Kahlil Gibran’s “The Prophet,” bejeweled women dancing in harems, and dashing sheiks racing on camels—the stuff of poetry and dreams.

To continue reading this article, please LOGIN or SUBSCRIBE