The Bookseller of Kabul

Front Cover
Virago, 2003 - Afghanistan - 276 pages
77 Reviews
Two weeks after September 11th, award-winning journalist ?sne Seierstad went to Afghanistan to report on the conflict there. In the following spring she returned to live with an Afghan family for several months.
For more than twenty years Sultan Khan 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. 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. 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.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - fromthecomfychair - LibraryThing

While the book demonstrates Seierstad's skill as an observer, as a book I found it very choppy, and more like a collection of stories. I do agree with another reviewer who says that the book is mis ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - KamGeb - LibraryThing

On the one hand the book was fascinating. I learned a lot about Afghanistan society I never knew before. The book is well written and the characters really come to life. However, most of the ... Read full review

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About the author (2003)

?sne 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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