Wednesday, January 05, 2011
The Bookseller of Kabul by Asne Seierstad
Sultan not only sold her 7 books but also become her friend. And he even invited her to his home for dinner. This give Anse an idea of writing a book about Sultan Khan and his family. Sultan agreed for her to moved into his home to observed.
At first, Anse thought Sultan is an unusual Afghan man who is open minded. But when she moved in, she got to know that he is not much different from other Afghan man. He is a typical Patriarch like everybody else. His words is law. Women speaks only when they are spoken to.
She saw many things which she thought is not right especially in terms of the woman rights.
There was the story of Sultan's first wife who is old and Sultan replaced her with a younger version. She had to bear with it as there is no other life that she may lead. If she were to divorce, she would have been an outcast in the society.
Then there are the story of Sultan sons and brothers who wanted more to life than to take care of Sultan's business and live under his thumbs.
But worse of all is Leila. Sultan's sister who is a very bright young woman. But her life is not for her to direct. She don't even have any say on man whom she is to marry.
This is a hard book for me to read. It took me about a week to finish this book.
There are many stories in this books which I read and read again. Can't believe that it's so outrageous. Like the part where Sultan's first wife being forced to accept the younger wife. And pity those young women who are forced to marry older man who can be cruel to them.
And most heart broken is the story of Leila.
This is a 5 stars rate kind of book. But don't expect it to be an easy read.