Andrea Bruce gives photographs with narratives in a special feature in the latest Alaska Quarterly Review called “Afghan Americans: Diptychs.” It’s a beautiful collection of photographs of Afghan Americans with quotes from them about bridging a link between their two cultures. “As an American, when I go to America, I try to get people to think of Afghans in a good way,” says Mina Sherzoy. “And as an Afghan, when I go to Afghanistan, I want the Afghans to think of the Americans in a good way. I’ve always tried to make the connections. I want to be a bridge.”
In the introduction to the selection, Bruce says that, “Each diptych explores a unique and complex connection between two countries and cultures seemingly at war, every day, embodied in individual Afghan Americans.” She emphasizes that she needed “to show that Iraqis weren’t all that different than our readers.” She goes on to say: “I need to show that they, too, love their children. They care about education. They have to deal with traffic, and health care, in surprisingly similar ways that Americans do. Intimacy was my tool.”
It really is an important section within a larger issue of Alaska Quarterly Review that also contains fiction, nonfiction, and poetry selections.