Christiane Bird is the author of "Neither East Nor West: One Woman's Journey Through the Islamic Republic of Iran "and "The""Jazz and Blues Lover's Guide to the U.S.," and coauthor of "Below the Line: Living Poor in America." A graduate of Yale University, she lives in New York City. "From the Hardcover edition."
Travel writer Bird (Neither East nor West: One Woman's Journey Through the Islamic Republic of Iran) provides a compelling glimpse of Kurds and the difficulties they face with this blend of travelogue and history lesson. The book's title comes from a Kurdish poem about the Kurds' determination to be masters of their own lands, an effort that brings about "a thousand sighs, a thousand tears, a thousand revolts, a thousand hopes." Bird deftly describes each of those aspects of Kurdistani culture, from the sighs and tears of women who offer Bird both flavorful dinners and wrenching stories of loss, to the hopes of Kurdish artists who believe their ethnic group's artistic traditions can survive beyond war. Where Bird focuses most, however, is the revolts that have plagued the Kurds for decades. The largest ethnic group in the world without a state of their own, the Kurds number between 25 and 30 million, and live in an arc of land that stretches through Turkey, Syria, Iraq, Iran and parts of the former Soviet Union. As Bird travels through Kurdistan (a country that isn't on any map), she meets an array of people, from scholars to bus drivers. Each story of conflict, poverty, homelessness and suffering is like a brushstroke in a larger portrait of the Kurdish experience. Bird's talent for blending reportage with illuminating tales from individuals makes this a notable and much needed work. B&w photos, map. Agent, Neeti Madan. (On sale Apr. 27) Forecast: Few news reports have shed light on the daily life or recent history of Kurds, and Bird's account certainly fills that gap. National media appearances, a five-city author tour and radio interviews should boost sales. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
"I cannot recommend too highly this brilliantly evocative portrait of people who have suffered terrible crimes, but endured, with remarkable courage andcharm and undying hope, captured with rare sensitivity and sympathetic understanding in Bird's deeply moving account of her journeys through their lands and her sharing of their lives."--NOAM CHOMSKY "One of Christiane Bird's revelations in "A Thousand Sighs, a Thousand Revolts" is that in the Middle East, one should never confuse minority with marginality. This account by a particularly attentive American woman journeying into the land of the Kurds . . . helps readers understand the most striking feature of the Middle East: complexity."--FATEMA MERNISSI, author of "Beyond the Veil" and "Islam and Democracy ""Christiane Bird writes well, with an open mind, an eye for detail, and a clear voice. No one who wishes to be informed on what is going on in the world can afford to skip this important book about a little known and often abused people."--MARK KURLANSKY, author of "1968: The Year That Rocked the World "and" A Basque History of the World""Christiane Bird travels enviably and intrepidly about her selected neck of the world. In "A Thousand Sighs, a Thousand Revolts," she writes intelligently, personably, tirelessly, and engrossingly about the Kurds, a people execrably abused and eminently worth learning about."--EDWARD HOAGLAND "From the Hardcover edition."