Tamin Ansary is a wonderful writer. After read his history of the Islam, Destiny disrupted : a history of the world through Islamic eyes, I’m now reading his autobiography, West of Kabul, East of New York : an Afghan American story, detailing his childhood in Afghanistan, his adult life in American, and his travels — literal and figurative — between those two worlds.
In reading one book and then the other, I feel that they are more similar than not, despite one being a personal account and the other a narrative of religious and political history. In reading the earlier-published book, West/East, I got glimpses of ideas on the development of Islam and Islamic societies that were fleshed out seven years later in Destiny Disrupted. Likewise, in reading Destiny Disrupted, I saw the the personal connections Ansary hold to the Islamic world whose history he was recounting. The author’s versatility in moving between the personal and the impersonal is really marvelous.