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The Bookseller Of Kabul

The Bookseller Of Kabul

THE INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER

For more than twenty years Sultan Khan, a bookseller in Kabul, defied the authorities – be they communist or Taliban – to supply books to the people of Kabul. He was arrested, interrogated and imprisoned by the communists and watched illiterate Taliban soldiers burn piles of his books in the street. He even resorted to hiding most of his stock in attics all over Kabul. But while Khan is passionate in his love of books and hatred of censorship, he is also a committed Muslim with strict views on family life.

Two weeks after September 11th, award-winning journalist Åsne Seierstad went to Afghanistan to report on the conflict there and the year after she lived with an Afghan family for several months. As an outsider, Asne Seierstad is able to move between the private world of the women – including Khan’s two wives – and the more public lives of the men. And so we learn of proposals and marriages, suppression and abuse of power, crime and punishment. The result is a gripping and moving portrait of a family, and a clear-eyed assessment of a country struggling to free itself from history.

‘An intimate portrait of Afghani people quite unlike any other … a compelling read’ CHRISTINA LAMB, SUNDAY TIMES
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Genre: Asia / Central Asia / Afghanistan

On Sale: 4th March 2004

Price: £8.99

ISBN-13: 9781844080472

Reviews

Written sometimes more like fiction than fact ... this is a remarkable portrait, with deftly woven accounts of weddings and journeys, books and bookselling, relations and squabbles, firmly anchored by pleasing details about food and customs, all set against the backdrop of a derelict city, filthy and crammed but not defeated
Independent
Fascinating ... a colourful portrait of people struggling to survive in the most brutal circumstances ... bear[s] witness to the power of literature to withstand even the most repressive regime
Michael Arditti, Daily Mail
A unique insight into another world as the Norwegian answer to Kate Adie shares the life of a family in Kabul
Daily Mirror