Kim Barker is the author of The Taliban Shuffle, which was adapted for the big screen as Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, starring Tina Fey. From Barker's Q & A with Rachel Martin:
MARTIN: So the movie really plays up the ex-pat scene in Kabul, and this is something you spent a good deal of time talking about in the book.--Marshal Zeringue
MARTIN: It is hard, probably, for a lot of people to imagine...
MARTIN: ...That an ex-pat, young, white woman from, you know, Chicago could go to Kabul and have what turned out to be a thriving social scene. And that's complicated. Can you unpack that a little bit?
BARKER: It is really complicated. And I think some people say - you went to parties in Afghanistan? - but it was war. You know, it must have been all the time. How could you possibly have fun? Well, here's the deal. It's, like - I think anybody who's actually been in those situations knows that you're covering horrible things during the day. You know, you're talking to, you know, women who would rather throw acid on themselves than, like, be in a forced marriage, or you're covering suicide bombs. And you're dealing with these stories that you can't necessarily, like, go to the gym and exercise and, like, go for run outside. My mother was always like - why don't you do yoga? Like, you do yoga, Mom. You know? Because it's like - you needed some sort of sense of release. And you were in this pressure cooker, and you couldn't ever - you know, you just led such an inside life most of the time. So, yeah, there were parties, and you became really, really close with this group of people that were all sort of thrust into the same situation. And I wanted to show that because, you know - and I wanted to show my part in that because I found it so interesting. And it was something people didn't know about. And I didn't want to be a hypocrite and just, you know, point at...[read on]