Monday, May 5, 2008

Splendid Suns - Setting

Mariam was born in Herat, Afghanistan, in 1959.

You can see a map of Afghanistan. (Click on the map to make it bigger)

Herat is on the far western edge of the country, toward the top. Kabul (where the bulk of the book takes place) is due east of Herat, on the other side of the country.

The major events of the book begin in the summer of 1973, when Mariam is 14 years old, and the spring of 1974, when Mariam turns 15.

Here are some things that happened right around then:
  • Richard Nixon is president.
  • The Watergate scandal broke.
  • The war in Vietnam ended, and the POWs started coming home.
  • Pink Floyd released Dark Side of the Moon
  • The World Trade Center was dedicated.
  • The patent for the ATM (Automated Teller Machine) was granted.
  • OJ Simpson was the first NFL player to rush for 2000 yards in one season.
  • Nixon released the Watergate Tapes, and impeachment proceedings started.
  • Barcodes were used for the first time to ring up prices in grocery stores.
  • Nixon resigned, and Gerald Ford became President.
  • George W. Bush was discharged from the Air Force Reserves.
What were you doing in 1973 and 1974?


Anonymous said...

Having just graduated college, I was working in a small town - Hartford, MI as a media specialist in the elementary school. The school district was very interesting as it had 1800 students but the population of the town was only 2,000 people. Hartford is located in the fruit belt, so the migrant workers where in town picking fruit and their children where in school when they counted the students.

Susan said...

How Cool! What fruit were they picking? (I'm guessing apples or cherries, in Michigan)

Do you remember any of the world events from the time, and how (whether) it affected the kids at all?

The school must have had a WONDERFUL budget! If they did the school count at the height of picking season, then everyone left, the school should have gotten funding for all the kids that later moved on!

Anonymous said...

Apples where the big crop and yes the school was pretty well off with the extra income. They did use some of the funds to add showers to all the schools and provided clean clothing,so when the students came to school, they had a shower and clean clothes to wear.

The major events - was the gas shortage (and high prices - this seems to go in cycles) and no jobs for teachers or in automobile manufacturing. We waited in long lines to get gas (could take several hours) and in some locations you were limited to how many gallons you could get.