The Bookseller of Kabul
Seierstad, a 31-year-old Norwegian journalist, offers a one-of-a-kind look at Afghani culture in this compelling account of the three months she spent with a Kabul bookseller named Sultan Khan. Seierstad lived with Khan and his large familytwo wives, various children, his mother, brothers and sistersin the spring of 2002, just as the Taliban was being ousted from power. Donning a burqa and becoming acquainted with the family's Islamic lifestyle, Seierstad gives readers an inside view of the countrythe soul-crushing tyranny of a government that forces Khan to hoard and hide books; the dismal economy and 12-hour work days; the arranged marriages that are a cultural mainstay, regardless of regime. Seierstad's narrative is a courageous report of her time in Afghanistan at a critical moment in history, a book that skillfully reflects the difficulties and dangers of being a Westerner and a woman in a country that devalues both. A reading group guide is included in the book.