Under An Afghan Sky

Under An Afghan Sky

A Memoir of Captivity

Book - 2011
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In October 2008, Mellissa Fung, a reporter for CBC’s The National, was leaving a refugee camp outside of Kabul when she was kidnapped by armed men. She was forced to hike for several hours through the mountains until they reached a village; there, the kidnappers pushed her towards a hole in the ground. “No,” she said. “I am not going down there.”

For more than a month, Fung lived in that hole, which was barely tall enough to stand up in, nursing her injuries, praying and writing in a notebook. Under an Afghan Sky is the gripping tale of Fung’s days in captivity, surviving on cookies and juice, from the “grab” to her eventual release.

Publisher: Toronto : HarperCollins, c2011
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9781554686803
Branch Call Number: 958.1047 FUN
Characteristics: 358 p. ;,23 cm.


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May 01, 2019

Awesome read!

Dec 19, 2013

Mellissa's account of her captivity becomes repetitive after the first half. After all, what can happen that's different when you are held in an underground hole? Fortunately, she escaped the sexual harassment that other woman endure in such situations ("House in the Sky"). It would have been interesting to hear what may have happened to her kidnappers and if Khalid did email her as he had promised. What was the doctor's report on her stomach pain? I was surprised that she was released on an exchange of prisoners rather than for money. Definitely, "House in the Sky" is the more gripping read. Interestlngly enough, both of these memoirs are written by Canadian reporters who have been captured in the Middle East.

Cdnbookworm Nov 04, 2011

Before her kidnapping and captivity in Afghanistan, Mellissa Fung had an active life, with her career in journalism advancing nicely. She was in a relatively new relationship and looking forward to upcoming changes in both her work and personal life.
Her kidnapping memoir shows this and how knowing her support system of family and friends was out there got her through her ordeal. She tries to create relationships with her kidnappers, asking about them and their families and their life goals. She writes letters to friends and family in her notebook, hoping that someday she will be able to give them in person. She prays and finds her rosary a comfort.
Her portrayal of the young men who kidnap her and the world she finds herself in is written in the present tense and comes across as raw and real. I know from media coverage that she found writing this book difficult, but something she needed to do. It gives us a window into her experience and into life in this difficult country. Well worth the read.

This is a compelling, if sometimes irritating, book. I heard Melissa Fung interviewed a couple of times on the CBC. The physical and mental toughness that saw her through this ordeal are admirable. In addition, the memoir contains worthwhile insights into Afghan society and the difficulties faced by individual Afghans. What's most annoying about Under an Afghan Sky is the sense that the narrative and the picture it paints of the narrator appear to be contrived. Although the letters Fung wrote to her family and intimate friends are included, they must have been reconstituted because she tells us (on p. 343) that she was forced to leave them behind. (She never admits this or explains how the text was composed.) There is a Pollyanna-like quality to her self-portrait (mostly selfless and devout) that grates after awhile. Spare us the endless "Hail Marys" and confessions of guilt, love and shame!

Aug 21, 2011

The story itself is fascinating but I found the telling of it to be slow and tedious with lots of filler that did nothing to add to the story.

debwalker May 15, 2011

Story of CBC Reporter kidnapped in Afghanistan - and she wants to go back???

May 05, 2011

Not that interesting..... kind of boring and i was disapointed(think i spelled disapointed wrong) :(

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