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Description - The Bookseller of Kabul by Asne Seierstad

Two weeks after September 11th, award-winning journalist Asne Seierstad went to Afghanistan to report on the conflict. In the following spring she returned to live with a bookseller and his family for several months. The Bookseller of Kabul is the fascinating account of her time spent living with the family of thirteen in their four-roomed home. Bookseller Sultan Khan defied the authorities for twenty years 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. As an outsider, 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. The result is an intimate and fascinating portrait of a family which also offers a unique perspective on a troubled country.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9781844080472
ISBN-10: 1844080471
Format: Paperback
(197mm x 129mm x 19mm)
Pages: 288
Imprint: Virago Press Ltd
Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
Publish Date: 4-Mar-2004
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

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Book Review: Bookseller of Kabul by Asne Seierstad - Reviewed by (08 Jun 2011)

An enticing look into the life of a middle class family in post September 11 Afghanistan. The author sensitively tells the true stories of various members of Sultan Kahn's family with whom she stays. Kahn (The bookseller) is an extremely passionate man who flouts rules but rules his family with an iron fist. The treatment of women - even post Taliban is confronting to westerners and despite the women of Sultan's family not liking the situation both they and the men are accepting of their lot - after all what choice do they have. Their lives are owned by the patriarch of the family; that is just the way it is!


Author Biography - Asne Seierstad

Asne Seierstad (born 1970) has reported from Russia, China, Kosovo, Afghanistan and Iraq, amongst many other countries. She has received numerous awards for her journalism.

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