Next Book Club Meeting: Tuesday 31 October at 18:00 in the Member’s Bar

“From the December issue of Rolling Stone, my impressions from the Taliban’s first month in control of Afghanistan after the final withdrawal of American and international forces on August 31 this year.

Those of us who hadn’t lived under their rule – including me – were charmed by the hospitality of the city’s new overlords. Those who knew them better warned of the subterfuge.

Picture: 1. Elham plays on the burnt-out wreck of a former Afghan National Police Vehicle south of Maidan Shahr, the capital of Wardak, which, locals said, was being driven by Taliban fighters when it was struck by a missile fired from an aircraft in the days leading up to the fall of Kabul. 23.9.21.

Picture: 2.On September 7, several hundred protestors marched through Kabul’s streets in support of resistance fighters in the Panjshir Valley and calling “death to Pakistan,” a euphemism for the Taliban, who many Afghans see as a product of the neighbouring country. The march, which included a large proportion of women, was eventually broken up when dozens of Taliban fighters turned on the crowd with lengths of hose and electric cables and fired their assault rifles into the sky. It was the last major demonstration in the Afghan capital. 7.9.21.” – Andrew Quilty.

Our last in-person Book Club was the ideal chance to bring our community together and engage in thoughtful and stimulating discussion. Next Tuesday our Book Club will reunite to talk about “August in Kabul: America’s Last Days in Afghanistan” by Andrew Quilty. Quilty is an award-winning journalist and tells this story through the eyes of witnesses to the fall of Kabul, whose lives have been turned upside down.

He was one of only a handful of Western journalists who stayed in Kabul as the city fell. This is his first-hand account of those dramatic final days.

Join our Sub Club next week to deeply connect with this powerful experience.

Review from the medias:

“This book will at times quite literally take your breath away. A deeply reported account of the fall of Afghanistan’s capital, August in Kabul tells the harrowing stories of those who escaped and those who were left behind in the maelstrom of those two weeks between the arrival of the Taliban on 15 August 2021 and the final US flight to depart – at one minute to midnight on 30 August. Compelling, vivid, and distressing all at once, it is a damning indictment of the Taliban’s wanton cruelty and of the domestic and foreign policy failures that allowed them to return. It is an impressive book-length début by one of Australia’s pre-eminent photojournalists.” The Australian book review.

“Told through the eyes of witnesses to the fall of Kabul, Walkley award-winning journalist Andrew Quilty’s debut publication offers a remarkable record of this historic moment.” Melbourne University publishing.