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The World Is a Carpet: Four Seasons in an Afghan Village Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
Looked at from the standpoint of world literature: the author certainly respects the idea of unities of time and place and of effect. She writes a lot like Emile Zola, the French novelist of social reform. This story reminds me of the endless grey and grime and drudgery of 'Germinal', his story about coal miners.
The World Is A Carpet begins with the wanderlust of 'travellers.' The author admits she is drawn to wild and desolate places in the way of Sir Richard Burton and Wilfred Thesiger and T. E. Lawrence. She feels a compulsion to write about a land and a people ravaged in every way imaginable--by time, by climate, by war, by endemic disease. These are a people--men, women and children--who are trapped in an interlocking and unremitting web of hunger, ignorance, drug addiction, brutality and the machinations of foreign powers like America and Russia.
Focusing on women's lives, what little beauty they can see comes from their ancient proficiency in carpet weaving and is the product of their ancestral imaginations and cyclical toil. In this subsistence life, a single woman and her female helpers weave but one fine carpet each year. Its sale provides a crucial margin between hunger and outright starvation for them and their families. The purchase of yarn to make carpets keeps some families continually in debt. Through Anna Badkhen's eye of the journalist and taste for ethnographic description, we can 'look in on' a year in the life of one such family and their village neighbours. She presents a view that most of us would never see otherwise and she puts human and community 'faces' on the endless cycles of violence in that region.
Anna Badkhen uses her own singular skill of weaving with words to create this beautiful story. It is not a book that can be read with speed or in large doses...no, it must be slowly enjoyed as one would a beautiful carpet. Little pieces at a time, in order to fully appreciate the nuance of the whole. So much pain and hunger, fear and even despair, and yet so much beauty as well. And above all, I think, an appreciation of a life lived day by day, creating life as the beauty in the carpet is created.
It's a lovely book, and yet a hard one as well. Make a cup of tea, sit for a spell, and let the story of the creation of a singular carpet bespell you. For magic this carpet is - magic enough to weave life, and magic enough to keep it going. And in the end, isn't that what magic truly is?
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book provides an excellent picture of life in a small, isolated village in Afghanistan.
Sometimes I felt there was too much description of scenery, but I know this is... Read more
This story carried me forward even though the author seems to go out of her way to find fresh ways to say things. Read morePublished 21 months ago by Edward H. Pitts
***I received an ARC of this book in exchange for a review***
There's no other way to explain it; I would rather have been reading a thesaurus or a dictionary. Read more
This is a must read for everyone who owns or has even walked on a beautiful carpet. Look underneath for the sticky fingerprints of a four year old girl.Published on January 4, 2014 by Kindle Customer
this time capsule is beautifully presented, wrapped with warm deep red carpet wool for tangible effect. the story is pertinant, current, gorgeous, frightening, sorrowful - life. Read morePublished on December 28, 2013 by Danielle E.
I love the idea of living in a remote part of Afghanistan and living among one family of rug makers and seeing a rug created from start to finish. Read morePublished on November 5, 2013 by traveler
"The World is a Carpet" by Anna Badkhen is the story of a woman's journey in rural Afghanistan. The author has a very evocative way of describing landscapes and people, and this... Read morePublished on September 2, 2013 by K. Kennedy
Not what I expected and would not recommend it. Read other books on Afghan and learned more and kept me interested.Published on August 30, 2013 by John&Carol Huggard
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