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The Bookseller of Kabul

In 2002, journalist Asne Seierstad spent four months living with the bookseller Sultan Khan and his family in Kabul. Their voices come to life on the page as Seierstad carefully observes their daily routines.

SKU: 9781844080472 Category:

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Two weeks after September 11th, award-winning journalist Asne 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.

Book Title

The Bookseller of Kabul

Book Author

Asne Seierstad

Book Category

Travel Writing


Little Brown Book Group


Virago Press




Biography & Memoir




198mm x 126mm

Date Published

March 2004





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