Wednesday, April 07, 2004

For the past couple of evenings I've been reading The Bookseller of Kabul by the Norwegian journalist Asne Seierstad. I will withhold my judgments until I have completed it, though it has been captivating and has provided a thorough release from the worries of the day. Yet there is nothing really new in it. Seierstad's view of Afghan women's lives is typically western. She's keen on emphasizing the narrowness and limitations of women's lives, but so far has failed to tap what beats in the hearts of these women. She observes the marriage rituals, the preoccupation with tradition, but misses the core of what all this means to the women she's writing about. I'm wondering about the nature of the close emotional ties that bind Afghan women together as they bump into each other in their tiny homes. I'll give an update soon.


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