© 2024 FriesenPress, Inc. All rights reserved.

Afsun Beyond the Vineyard cover

  • Paperback Edition
    • 978-1-03-917161-9
    • 6.0 x 9.0 inches
    • Black & White interior
    • 276 pages
  • Hardcover Edition
    • 978-1-03-917162-6
    • 6.0 x 9.0 inches
    • Black & White interior
    • 276 pages
  • Keywords
    • Social justice,
    • Afghanistan,
    • Women’s and girls’ rights,
    • Taliban,
    • Coming of age,
    • Middle East,
    • Journal

Publish with FriesenPress

Learn how you can publish your book with the world’s only 100% employee-owned publishing services provider.

Get our Guide

Afsun Beyond the Vineyard
by Khatera Tughra

Afsun Beyond the Vineyard is at once a poignant coming-of-age story and an indictment of religious extremism. Presented as the diary of a resilient, outspoken teenager, this novel offers authentic insights into the subtleties of Afghanistan’s Uzbek culture. Having emigrated from Afghanistan at the age of two, Afsun grows up in Russia but yearns to see the mountains of her birthplace. When her father announces they’ll be vacationing in her parents’ hometown, her excitement is palpable. But the summer adventure soon turns into an unending nightmare. Even as her world begins to collapse around her, Afsun struggles to maintain her dignity and support her young siblings in a society where women and girls have no status, no freedom, and no voice.

“A beautiful novel reflecting injustices faced by girls and women in Afghanistan and the dreams and potential each has to make a difference.” —SURAYA DALIL, Director, WHO Special Programme on Primary Health Care and Afghanistan’s former Permanent Representative to the UN “Compelling read, deeply disturbing. A look deep into the dynamics of rural Afghan culture with its deep misogyny. It is quite horrifying and utterly believable.” —KATHERINE GOVIER, novelist and founder of The Shoe Project “Afsun Beyond the Vineyard is nothing short of amazing. A deeply felt and imagined narrative … both profoundly personal and profoundly political. Tughra takes the reader right to the center of a world that many readers will find utterly alien, but that all should recognize as both fully feminist and utterly human.” —BARNETT R. RUBIN, Distinguished Fellow, Center on International Cooperation, New York University

Khatera Tughra was born and raised in Faryab, Northern Afghanistan. Like her central character, she is a young woman with strong opinions. She has survived numerous death threats and school bombings and has witnessed incidents similar to those depicted in this book. Although fictionalized, her characters were inspired by various individuals she has known or heard about. Through her writing, she hopes to keep her homeland in the international spotlight and educate others on the need to restore democracy and uphold human rights. Khatera’s activism and stellar academic record were established by middle school. As an eighth grader, she took a university-level computer course held by the Norwegian Committee in Faryab. A year later, she became an instructor in that course and began writing articles on social issues for local publications as well as speeches for various politicians. Her writing helped her become an honourary member of the Afghan Journalists Safety Committee. She was also recognized by the Northern Afghanistan Human Rights organization for initiating projects for girls. Throughout her high school years, she garnered many accolades for both her academic achievements and her activities to support disadvantaged youth. In 2020, she was named “Student of the Year” by Afghanistan’s Ministry of Education. Khatera has also won praise for Efsun, the original Turkish version of Afsun Beyond the Vineyard. Published in March 2022, Efsun has already won four awards: Ankara Gazi University TÖMER Achievement Award; PEN International, Afghan branch, Success Award; Union of Afghan Associations’ Creativity and Awareness Award, and the Afghan Embassy’s Courage Award. By the time the Taliban seized power on August 15, 2021, Khatera was already pursuing a degree in medicine in Ankara, Türkiye. Despite her devotion to her studies, she finds time to speak for those who can no longer speak for themselves. She is a member of the Afghan branch of PEN International and the International Development Association of Disadvantaged Groups. When she’s not studying, she enjoys volleyball, running, poetry writing, and chess. Already fluent in five languages, Khatera is working on perfecting her English. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.


Khatera Tughra
Yunus Tughra
Momoye Sugiman

What People are Saying

Other eBook Editions

This book is also available in eBook format from these sites.