Farood Abdali is just eleven years old when a drone strike destroys his family’s mud-built home in Baghlan Province, Afghanistan, killing his father and leaving him and his older brother alone. His brother sells the family sheep to pay an ‘agent’ to take Farood to the West, not knowing when he will be back but being hopeful that he’ll one day return with liberating wealth.
Farood’s journey is one of pain and endurance across Pakistan, Iran and Turkey, in the boots of cars at border crossings and waiting with others in basements and trailers, afraid and confused.
We skip forward eight years to a prison where nineteen-year-old Farood is beginning a life sentence for a crime he says he didn’t commit. He can fight better than most, but it’s not easy negotiating a way through hierarchies and alliances on the wing.
Forever a captive, despite his will to escape, can Farood Abdali break the mould and forge a better life?
“Written with great compassion and insight, Baghlan Boy takes us to the margins and beyond. Despite its roots in the tragedies of war and exploitation, this is ultimately a story of optimism, unity and justice. An important novel by a bold, thoughtful author.” – John King, novelist and author of The Football Factory
Michael Crowley is a writer, dramatist, published poet and playwright whose first novel The Stony Ground was published in 2018. He is also the author of a textbook on criminology, Behind the Lines. Michael’s drama has been produced on stage in the UK and in Australia as well on BBC Radio and with Sky Arts. He is the artistic director of The British Multitude Theatre Company and has worked extensively in youth and community theatre, including with refugees and asylum seekers. He has also taught Creative Writing at Sheffield Hallam and Edge Hill universities. Between 2007 and 2012 Michael was a writer in residence in a young offenders’ institute, conducting much of the research for Baghlan Boy during this time. He is based in Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire. See more at michaelcrowley.co.uk.