In this one-of-a-kind memoir highlighting the current crisis in Afghanistan, Kim Barker navigates the wild and dangerous terrain of war-torn Afghanistan with humor and clarity. The Taliban Shuffle is an account of her last year in Afghanistan, during which she took on the Taliban for herself, for colleagues who were injured or killed overseas, for her family and for the Afghans who suffered under their occupation.
An unflinching, brutal look at the “war on terror”—in Afghanistan, in Pakistan, and beyond. Kim Barker grew up in Washington, DC, whose culture created an advantage for her as a journalist of color who was sent to war-torn countries as a young reporter: She had no preconceptions about what should and shouldn’t be happening there. Her dispatches from Afghanistan bear witness to this truth.
You’ll love this book because Kim Barker has become an irreplaceable reporter in Afghanistan. After years of covering one war after another, she is tough, compassionate and funny. In Taliban Shuffle she takes readers deep into the heart of conflict and makes for a fascinating read.
Kim Barker is a little worried about Afghanistan. The Taliban, she fears, are taking back the country; aid workers are being murdered on the streets; NATO troops are putting down roots? Her best friend encourages her to stay for another year as a war correspondent—but he also warns that if she returns home now, she may never get back in.
About The Taliban Shuffle Book
A true-life Catch-22 set in the deeply dysfunctional countries of Afghanistan and Pakistan, by one of the region’s longest-serving correspondents.
Kim Barker is not your typical, impassive foreign correspondent—she is candid, self-deprecating, laugh-out-loud funny. At first an awkward newbie in Afghanistan, she grows into a wisecracking, seasoned reporter with grave concerns about our ability to win hearts and minds in the region. In The Taliban Shuffle, Barker offers an insider’s account of the “forgotten war” in Afghanistan and Pakistan, chronicling the years after America’s initial routing of the Taliban, when we failed to finish the job.
When Barker arrives in Kabul, foreign aid is at a record low, electricity is a pipe dream, and some of the remaining foreign troops aren’t allowed out after dark. Meanwhile, in the vacuum left by the U.S. and NATO, the Taliban is regrouping as the Afghan and Pakistani governments flounder. Barker watches Afghan police recruits make a travesty of practice drills and observes the disorienting turnover of diplomatic staff. She is pursued romantically by the former prime minister of Pakistan and sees adrenaline-fueled colleagues disappear into the clutches of the Taliban. And as her love for these hapless countries grows, her hopes for their stability and security fade.
Swift, funny, and wholly original, The Taliban Shuffle vividly captures life’s absurdities and tragedies in a war zone.