"This book provides skillful literary translations of Persian Dari poems for English-language readers. They read like poems written effortlessly in English, with none of the stiltedness and archaisms of translations by less able translators. The poems are furnished with valuable biographical notes about their authors, brief critical commentaries, and insightful notes on the translation process and the difficult choices that it involves.
The introduction provides a thorough historical and cultural context for these poems' creation in the Afghan city of Herat, complete with scholarly references. Most compellingly of all, the author includes valuable primary material in the form of interviews with some of the significant players in Herat's literary scene, including those of the translated poets who are still alive. These interviews and the author's firsthand knowledge of the community offer an unprecedented and fascinating insight into the training, social interactions and creative practice of young female poets in contemporary Afghanistan. The introduction also sympathetically recounts the challenges these poets have faced, whether being forced underground during Taliban times or having their careers - or their lives - tragically cut short by those close to them who disapproved of their intellectual activities. As such, it is a valuable socio-historical documentation of an important Afghan cultural form and the changes it is undergoing - a story rarely told about Afghanistan in these troubled times."--Dr. Zuzanna Olszewska, University of Oxford, author of The Pearl of Dari: Poetry and Personhood among Young Afghans in Iran, forthcoming from Indiana University Press