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And wasn’t it naive of Seierstad to think that Rais would gladly go along with the portrayal of his family in the book? We all know those travel books who pretend to teach you about a culture of which the writer doesn’t even speak the language: A behind-the-veil and an honest story of a bookseller and his kabjl in Kabul.

Kzbul me, the pathos in this book pibrero in the hopes and aspirations of the members of the Khan family living in a post-Taliban Afghanistan. Nothing is straight forwar I reached for “The Bookseller of Kabul” for two reasons. Patronizing them and their “inferior” culture isn’t just tasteless, it’s downright damnable. The book I read just before this one, by a Portuguese journalist who was in Kabul a few years after the publication of The Bookseller of Kabul, includes a short mention to a visit to this bookshop.

The Taliban engaged in ethnic cleansing of the Tajiks and other minorities in northern Afghanistan, raising entire villages to the ground and poisoning water wells and blowing water pipes and dams kablu for survival in these dry plains before they withdrew. I did endure until the last full stop.

El librero de Kabul : Asne Seierstad :

But that’s the nature of war, to make strange allies and stranger enemies. Luckily for us, perhaps, some of the potential uncertainty is removed by a court case launched by Sultan second, and much younger wife, in against Seierstad. It is an excellent book for those who want to learn about this country.


I don’t understand how she can write that way without even writing herself in, therefore allowing the follies of inter cultural miscommunication and misunderstanding play a part.

This book draws a very humane picture of an obscure society, a picture that very often fails to filter through the coloured glasses of mainstream media. Everything comes second to his passion.

Here her presence is elusive in the text. Seierstad says that the burka was only introduced in the 20th century to Kabul by one of the Kings of Afghanistan fe decreed that the women of his harem should each dw one when ever they left the palace to wander about town.

The women want education and a job, the children want to play, young men and women of the country want to fall in love in spite of knowing the dire consequences, and Sultan Khan wants to contribute towards building a better and liberal Afghanistan, a country which he can boast of to the world. Preview this item Preview this item.

El librero de Kabul

I’d like to read this book on Kindle Don’t have a Kindle? I couldn’t quite ligrero if she translated the characters’ stories with love or contempt, but I guess it doesn’t really matter in the end, because it’s the reader. D Preview See a Problem? I think this is going too far, especially because even though she used different names, everybody now knows who the bookseller and his family are. Some features of WorldCat will not be available.

Albeit it being a nonfiction, and although she can’t embellish with happy moments, her narrations of anything good were few and far between.

It would not do to appear too keen. The household of Sultan Khan in Kabul, ruled under the communist party, which is later succeeded by the Taliban’s dictatorial rule, is not a happy place for the women, with two wives and a handful of children from the wives and lots of siblings and grandparents. View all 4 comments. Want to Read saving…. It was interesting and page-turning, but the author’s tone really aggravated me.


Refresh and try again. The most important question that Seierstad manages to ask, however, is how can an educated man, who wants to edit school textbooks and who believes in a limited form of free thought after all, Sultan Khan would never sell Salman Rushdie at his bookshop be so unable to understand the oppressive nature of the society he lives in and so blind to his own personal contribution to it?

I was irritated early on by the way this book was written.

Is it doable to write about anything and not give a bit of ourselves to the text? Ironically, at one point in the book, a hotel guard in the worst territory in Afghanistan, observing one of Khan’s family members helping an American journalist operate a satellite phone, the likes of which the hotel guard has never seen, says “Do you know what our problem is?

Perhaps a more interesting question, wasn’t it incredibly naive of Sultan Khan Shah Rais in real life to accept a European journalist into his own house librfro think that the portray she d’paint would be positive?

Cancel Forgot your password? There are glimmers of hope along the way as fate does give the women, who become the true stars of this book a chance.

Well researched but overall quite depressing. Dec 29, Tera rated it liked it Shelves: Learn more about Amazon Prime. Hopefully that will soon change.