Saturday, September 17, 2005

The Bookseller of Kabul by Asne Seierstad

Here is a book guaranteed to make you appreciate everything about you one hundred fold. You will be acutely aware of your own freedoms, of your utilities (imagine living in a large apartment building with no running water), and the many forms of beauty with which we are surrounded.

And your heart will ache for the various members of the bookseller's family as you learn of all their longings and disappointments in life as it is in Kabul.

Ms. Seierstad's book has already been translated into 31 languages and is destined to be a best seller. Having the opportunity to actually live with this Afghani family she has managed to translate that experience into a series of true to life stories. The Taliban mentality is still there and flourishing. The way of tradition is pursued relentlessly with no sentimentality allowed to enter into considerations. Dreams are dashed before they can hardly be uttered and this holds for both the men and the women in that household. Yes, it sounds grim and is grim but still one recommends this book highly. To know is to be a little more understanding. SWM

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