The Patience Stone

The Patience Stone

Author: Atiq Rahimi

Translator: Polly McLean

Original language: French

Published by: Chatto & Windus, 2010

A young woman prays at her husband's bedside as he lies in a coma with a bullet in his neck. From outside come the sounds of tanks, gunshots, screaming and, most terrifying of all, silence. Inside, her two frightened daughters call to her from the hallway. 

As she tries to keep her husband alive, the woman rages against men, war, culture, God. Even as her mind appears to unravel, she becomes intensely clear-sighted. Now is her chance - her first ever - to speak without being censored. Her husband's body reminds her of the legend of the patience stone, a stone that hears all confessions until it explodes, and finally, spurred to new heights of daring, she spills out her most explosive secret.

'An act of political courage and a beautifully constructed, deeply memorable novella'
Observer

'Perfectly written'
Los Angeles Times

'Powerful... truly an expansive work of literature'
New York Post