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The Bookseller of Kabul

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The Bookseller of Kabul Cover

ISBN13: 9780316734509
ISBN10: 0316734500
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Staff Pick

In this remarkable portrait, Norwegian journalist Åsne Seierstad recounts with brutal honesty the day to day lives of one Afghani family persevering through life in a country beset by chaos. With the assent of the Khan family with whom she lives, Seierstad gives us intimate access to a world were women have few privileges, and where an attitude of hope seems uncommonly rare.
Recommended by Michal D., Powells.com

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In Afghanistan, just after the fall of the Taliban, a bookseller named Sultan Khan allowed a western journalist to move into his home and experience firsthand his family's life in the newly liberated capital city of Kabul.

From that act of openness emerges this remarkable book, already an international bestseller-the most intimate look yet at ordinary life for those who have weathered Afghanistan's extraordinary upheavals. One husband, two wives, five children, and many other relatives sharing four small rooms opened up their lives, unforgettably.

First is Sultan himself, a man whose love of books has exposed him to great risks over his thirty years in the trade. He has seen his volumes censored, ripped apart, even burned in the street by the Communists and the Taliban. Each time he rebuilt his business, hiding the most controversial texts, surviving prison, traveling treacherous back roads to Pakistan to order much-needed schoolbooks. He takes joy in selling books of history, science, art, religion, and poetry, and defends his business against competitors and theft with a primal ferocity.

But Sultan is also a committed Muslim with strict views on filial respect and the role of women. We meet his wife, Sharifa, when she learns that Sultan is taking a new bride, as his status in the community dictates. Despite custom, it is agonizing for the mother of Sultan's children to see her place usurped. We follow their teenage son, Mansur, as he embarks on his first religious pilgrimage, which embodies all the excitement of youth's first rebellion. And we see Sultan's younger sisters, as one coquettishly prepares for her wedding while another seeks a job to escape her family's tight grip.

Stepping back from the page, award-winning journalist Asne Seierstad allows the Khans to speak for themselves about their joys, sorrows, rivalries, loves, dreams, and temptations. Through this close-knit household, we gain an intimate view — as few outsiders have seen it — of life in an Islamic country just beginning to find its way between the forces of modernity and tradition.

Review:

"[A]n astounding portrait....Seierstad's visceral account is equally seductive and repulsive...An international bestseller, it will likely stand as one of the best books of reportage of Afghan life after the fall of the Taliban." Publishers Weekly

Review:

"A slice of Afghanistan today, rendered with a talent for fine, sobering prose and strange, unnerving settings." Kirkus Reviews

Synopsis:

- An international phenomenon. Translated into 17 languages, The Bookseller Of Kabul has become not only the bestselling nonfiction book ever published in the author's native Norway, but also a tremendous success throughout Europe and around the world.
- A book that honestly portrays real life behind the veil--and illuminates the plight of Afghan women as no other book does.
- Like the current bestseller Reading Lolita in Tehran, the paperback edition of The Bookseller of Kabul is certain to be popular with reading groups.
- Hardcover

Synopsis:

A compelling saga of redemption and renewal from two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Anthony Shadid tells the story of rebuilding his family's ancestral home in Lebanon amid political strife, and his eventual understanding of the emotions behind the turbulence in the Middle East.

Synopsis:

“Evocative and beautifully written, House of Stone . . . should be read by anyone who wishes to understand the agonies and hopes of the Middle East.” — Kai Bird, Pulitzer Prize-winning historian and author of Crossing Mandelbaum Gate

“In rebuilding his family home in southern Lebanon, Shadid commits an extraordinarily generous act of restoration for his wounded land, and for us all.” — Annia Ciezadlo, author of Day of Honey

In spring 2011, Anthony Shadid was one of four New York Times reporters captured in Libya, cuffed and beaten, as that country was seized by revolution. When he was freed, he went home. Not to Boston or Beirut—where he lives— or to Oklahoma City, where his Lebanese-American family had settled and where he was raised. Instead, he returned to his great-grandfathers estate, a house that, over three years earlier, Shadid had begun to rebuild.

House of Stone is the story of a battle-scarred home and a war correspondents jostled spirit, and of how reconstructing the one came to fortify the other. In this poignant and resonant memoir, the author of the award-winning Night Draws Near creates a mosaic of past and present, tracing the houses renewal alongside his familys flight from Lebanon and resettlement in America. In the process, Shadid memorializes a lost world, documents the shifting Middle East, and provides profound insights into this volatile landscape. House of Stone is an unforgettable meditation on war, exile, rebirth, and the universal yearning for home.

Synopsis:

This mesmerizing portrait of a proud man who, through three decades and successive repressive regimes, heroically braved persecution to bring books to the people of Kabul has elicited extraordinary praise throughout the world and become a phenomenal international bestseller. The Bookseller of Kabul is startling in its intimacy and its details - a revelation of the plight of Afghan women and a window into the surprising realities of daily life in today's Afghanistan.

About the Author

ANTHONY SHADID (1968-2012), author of Night Draws Near, was an unparalleled chronicler of the human stories behind the news. He gained attention and awards, including the Pulitzer Prize, for his front-page reports in the Washington Post from Iraq. More recently, as Middle East correspondent for the New York Times, he covered the Arab Spring from Egypt to Libya (where he was held captive in March, 2011) to Syria. In 2010, he earned his second Pulitzer. Tragically, on February 16, 2012, he died while on assignment in Syria.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Bayt xiii

PART ONE: RETURNING

1. What the Silence Knows, July 30, 2006 3

2. Little Olive, August 10, 2007 14

3. Three Birds 35

4. Our Last Gentleman 49

5. Gold 65

6. Early Harvest 77

7. Dont Tell the Neighbors 88

8. Abu Jean, Does This Please You? 99

9. Mr. Chaya Appears 112

10. Last Whispers 128

11. Khairallas Oud 142

12. Citadels 155

PART TWO: AT HOME

13. Homesick 171

14. A Bush Called Rozana 181

15. Stupid Cat 197

16. Sitara 205

17. Salted Miqta 216

18. Passing Danger 232

19. Home 240

20. Worse Times 249

21. In the Name of the Father 259

22. Coming Home 269

23. Oh Laila 278

24. My Jedeida 286

Epilogue 303

Note to Readers 309

What Our Readers Are Saying

Add a comment for a chance to win!
Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

Honest Critique, December 2, 2008 (view all comments by Honest Critique)
Very interesting read. This book presents a brutal look into the lives of an Afghani family. HOWEVER, be warned, despite what the tainted eyes of other Westerners would lead you to believe. This book is not unbiased. Seierstad attepts to remove herself from the story via point of view; however, Western biases in the POV of the characters involved is subtly intertwined within the novel, but blatantly obvious at times. This is not a typical Afghani family, and this is NOT nonfiction. The author often recieves information through 3rd to 5th or more string sources, and despite this, still interjects her own perception of what those people's thoughts were. In no way do I endorse the actions of the characters presented but do not be easily consumed by the authors pathos. Wonderful read, but DON'T be fooled into believing this book is what it assumes itself as.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(45 of 47 readers found this comment helpful)
kps5, August 23, 2006 (view all comments by kps5)
An excellent book, detailed character sketches make the characters come to life, their thoughts, desires and aspirations are beautifully handled.
It was one of those books that, once picked up cannot be put down.An engrossing tale about the daily struggles, both personal and political faced by the resilient Afghans.
A must-read !!
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(7 of 12 readers found this comment helpful)
View all 2 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9780316734509
Translator:
Christophersen, Ingrid
Publisher:
Back Bay Books
Translator:
Christophersen, Ingrid
Author:
Seierstad, Asne
Author:
Shadid, Anthony
Location:
Boston
Subject:
General
Subject:
Social life and customs
Subject:
Political
Subject:
Martial Arts & Self-Defense
Subject:
Afghanistan
Subject:
Martial arts
Subject:
Booksellers and bookselling
Subject:
Kåabol
Subject:
Ethnic Cultures - General
Subject:
Islamic Studies
Subject:
Asia - Central Asia
Subject:
Travel
Subject:
Kabul (Afghanistan)
Subject:
Khan family
Subject:
Biography-Ethnic Cultures
Subject:
Sociology-Islamic Studies
Subject:
International
Copyright:
Edition Number:
1st U.S. ed.
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Series Volume:
#1198
Publication Date:
20041026
Binding:
Hardcover
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Yes
Pages:
320
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in 1.15 lb

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Related Subjects

» Biography » General
» History and Social Science » Asia » Afghanistan
» History and Social Science » Military » Gulf Wars
» History and Social Science » Politics » United States » Politics
» History and Social Science » Sociology » Islamic Studies
» History and Social Science » World History » Afghanistan and Pakistan
» History and Social Science » World History » Asia » General
» History and Social Science » World History » General
» History and Social Science » World History » Middle East

The Bookseller of Kabul Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$6.50 In Stock
Product details 320 pages Little Brown and Company - English 9780316734509 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

In this remarkable portrait, Norwegian journalist Åsne Seierstad recounts with brutal honesty the day to day lives of one Afghani family persevering through life in a country beset by chaos. With the assent of the Khan family with whom she lives, Seierstad gives us intimate access to a world were women have few privileges, and where an attitude of hope seems uncommonly rare.

"Review" by , "[A]n astounding portrait....Seierstad's visceral account is equally seductive and repulsive...An international bestseller, it will likely stand as one of the best books of reportage of Afghan life after the fall of the Taliban."
"Review" by , "A slice of Afghanistan today, rendered with a talent for fine, sobering prose and strange, unnerving settings."
"Synopsis" by , - An international phenomenon. Translated into 17 languages, The Bookseller Of Kabul has become not only the bestselling nonfiction book ever published in the author's native Norway, but also a tremendous success throughout Europe and around the world.
- A book that honestly portrays real life behind the veil--and illuminates the plight of Afghan women as no other book does.
- Like the current bestseller Reading Lolita in Tehran, the paperback edition of The Bookseller of Kabul is certain to be popular with reading groups.
- Hardcover
"Synopsis" by , A compelling saga of redemption and renewal from two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Anthony Shadid tells the story of rebuilding his family's ancestral home in Lebanon amid political strife, and his eventual understanding of the emotions behind the turbulence in the Middle East.
"Synopsis" by , “Evocative and beautifully written, House of Stone . . . should be read by anyone who wishes to understand the agonies and hopes of the Middle East.” — Kai Bird, Pulitzer Prize-winning historian and author of Crossing Mandelbaum Gate

“In rebuilding his family home in southern Lebanon, Shadid commits an extraordinarily generous act of restoration for his wounded land, and for us all.” — Annia Ciezadlo, author of Day of Honey

In spring 2011, Anthony Shadid was one of four New York Times reporters captured in Libya, cuffed and beaten, as that country was seized by revolution. When he was freed, he went home. Not to Boston or Beirut—where he lives— or to Oklahoma City, where his Lebanese-American family had settled and where he was raised. Instead, he returned to his great-grandfathers estate, a house that, over three years earlier, Shadid had begun to rebuild.

House of Stone is the story of a battle-scarred home and a war correspondents jostled spirit, and of how reconstructing the one came to fortify the other. In this poignant and resonant memoir, the author of the award-winning Night Draws Near creates a mosaic of past and present, tracing the houses renewal alongside his familys flight from Lebanon and resettlement in America. In the process, Shadid memorializes a lost world, documents the shifting Middle East, and provides profound insights into this volatile landscape. House of Stone is an unforgettable meditation on war, exile, rebirth, and the universal yearning for home.

"Synopsis" by , This mesmerizing portrait of a proud man who, through three decades and successive repressive regimes, heroically braved persecution to bring books to the people of Kabul has elicited extraordinary praise throughout the world and become a phenomenal international bestseller. The Bookseller of Kabul is startling in its intimacy and its details - a revelation of the plight of Afghan women and a window into the surprising realities of daily life in today's Afghanistan.
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