"The Pearl That Broke Its Shell"
"The Pearl that Broke Its Shell" is the first novel by Dr. Nadia Hashimi, a pediatrician who lives and practices in Potomac, Maryland. Hashimi’s parents came to the U.S. from Afghanistan in the 1970s, before the Soviet invasion, before the aftermath of 9/11 that has shaped the last decade. Dr. Hashimi joins Sheilah Kast on the line from Washington.
On the first page of the book, we meet three sisters, hurrying home from school in a small town in Afghanistan, trying to avoid the teen-age boy harassing them from his bicycle. By page five, their beleaguered father, distracted by his opium habit and angry that he has five daughters and no sons, has decreed that if they are not safe in the street, his daughters cannot attend school.
That’s how we’re introduced to the life of Rahima, the middle sister, and soon enough to the story of their great-great grandmother, Shekiba, who lived a century earlier in Kabul, in an Afghanistan that in some ways has changed very little.