Nation: Living with Uncertainty; The Families Who Wait Back Home

A void, a limbo, imprisons as surely as concrete and bars; such is the confinement of the waiting families. Here is an account of three of them:

IT is a flawless picture: the tall, pants-suited woman, attractive in the years before middle age, her hair dyed black, her husky voice speaking well-chosen, mature words. The apartment bright with Florida sun and four children, and comfortable with the acquisitions of tasteful travelers: an inlaid bone chess table from Pakistan, tiny prints from Arabia, a brass samovar from Teheran. She has worked as a nurse and...

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