Today is the publication date of my novel The Room and the Chair. I spent six years reporting and writing it. Sometimes I feel the reporting days were my sweetest days. In the summer of 2006, those days were spent in Afghanistan. I was wandering and roaming, not exactly setting up interviews or scheduling appointments. Something I got to know well were Afghanistan roads. Some were brand new–a stretch between Herat and the Iranian border was pitchy new macadam. Some were dirt and ruts and dust clouds–Kabul to Bamiyam. I was reminded of the road from Kabul to Jalalabad the other day when I opened The New York Times and saw a Dexter Filkins story about it. One of the problems he mentions is with overloaded trucks, which I saw all the time. Here’s one of my photos, right on the Kabul Jalalabad Highway.
As Filkins wrote, these tend to tip over. The story also reminded me of the accident I had, on that dirty dusty road to Bamiyan. The jeep I was in flipped and tumbled down a ravine. It looked decent considering. I was banged up but basically uninjured. There’s a very different accident, although it’s also in Afghanistan, in The Room and the Chair.