S4 Ep. 26: Bullshit Saviors: Helen Benedict and Nadia Hashimi on Depictions of the American Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq


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Novelists Nadia Hashimi and Helen Benedict join hosts V.V. Ganeshananthan and Whitney Terrell to discuss the mistakes American writers and culture made in depicting the United States’ wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. In the wake of the 20th anniversary of 9/11 and President Biden’s decision to pull U.S. troops out of Afghanistan, have American fiction and film truly confronted the cost of these wars, especially to civilians overseas? In this episode, Benedict discusses the persistent and problematic glamorization of conflict, and reads from her 2017 novel, Wolf Season, which is about the Iraq War and its aftermath. Then, Hashimi speaks about centering Afghan voices in her fiction and reads from her novel Sparks Like Stars, which begins in 1978 Kabul during the Saur Revolution.

To hear the full episode, subscribe through iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher, Spotify, or your favorite podcast app (include the forward slashes when searching). You can also listen by streaming from the player below. Check out video excerpts from our interviews at LitHub’s Virtual Book Channel, Fiction/Non/Fiction’s YouTube Channel, and our website: https://www.fnfpodcast.net/

This podcast is produced by Anne Kniggendorf.

Selected readings:

Nadia Hashimi

Helen Benedict


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