Very Good / Very Good. Item #000532
New York: Random House, 1964. Stated First Printing. Graphic three-color dust jacket. Black cloth with gilt and red lettering and stamped dune-like topographic lines. Selection by Book-of-the-Month noted on flap, but this is not a book club edition. Endpapers with two-color topographic map of Afghanistan and surrounding region. Dust jacket unclipped but chipped at edges; slightly eroded at flap folds, now stable in mylar. Binding and textblock near fine.
Novel stands out today in the Michener oeuvre, and rises in interest far above his normal novelistic skills, because of its exceptionally detailed documentary snapshot of Afghanistan in the mid-20th century. Michener works in his own eyewitness descriptions of Kabul, Kandahar, the Bamiyan Valley Buddhas and caves, and many social phenomena that would become primetime news after 9/11. Plot centers on gender issues in an American-Afghani cross-cultural plural marriage. Michener's final "Note," in his own voice, is remarkably prescient in naming the issues that have exploded in the 21st century.