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.