Book – The Carpet Weaver
Author – Nemat Sadat
Publisher – Penguin India
Genre – LGBTQ , +18
No. of pages – 300
About the book –
Afghanistan, 1977. Kanishka Nurzada, the son of a leading carpet seller, falls in love with his friend Maihan, with whom he shares his first kiss at the age of sixteen. Their romance must be kept secret in a nation where the death penalty is meted out to those deemed to be kuni, a derogatory term for gay men. And when war comes to Afghanistan, it brings even greater challenges-and danger-for the two lovers.
From the cultural melting pot of Kabul to the horrors of an internment camp in Pakistan, Kanishka’s arduous journey finally takes him to the USA in the desperate search for a place to call home-and the fervent hope of reuniting with his beloved Maihan. But destiny seems to have different plans in store for him.
Intimate and powerful, The Carpet Weaver is a sweeping tale of a young gay man’s struggle to come of age and find love in the face of brutal persecution.
This book is one hell of an adventure I’ve ever read! I didn’t even realised that the protagonist are all grown ups by the end of the book and that years passed by in the story I was reading.
When I first read that the book is where The Kite Runner comes in, I was at my prime as it being my all time favourite book and this book, the carpet weaver, does justice to what it says – A Powerful Tale of Love and Redemption
A story about this gay man and the brutality & betrayal he faced for the sake of living in a war torn world. I’ve felt all kinds of emotions while reading this book and the character’s feelings spoke to me between the lines. A beautiful, heart wrecking and brilliant portrait of the 1970s and what it would have been for a person to be a homosexual when the political tension were at its highest!
The book revolves around family, faith, friendship, loss, cruelty and ,of course, love. It loudly talks about the struggles LGBTQ community have faced and are still facing in this world. To all the homophobic people, you need to calm down! They are humans just like you and me or any other person out there. Stop calling and picking on them! Like Taylor Swift said, “Shade never made anybody less gay”
The story is set in Afghanistan, Pakistan and the final venture to US. The side scenes are described in a very beautiful and abstract way. Talking about the cover and the name of this book, it couldn’t have had been more accurate. The cover itself shows how hesitant yet passionate these two boys are, not to miss put on the helicopters which shows the war is going to take over their peace. And as you read this book, you’ll understand how fate meets what you desire somehow-somewhere. The parts where Nemat keeps quoting Rumi’s poetry to describe emotions are one of my favourite.
Also, the book literally made me cry thrice. You cannot imagine what kind of pain the family had gone through. And the thought that this fictional story might possibly be an actually story back then makes my heart ache.
I would recommend every person to read this insanely brilliant debut work by Nemat Sadat. Very smooth, intimate, rich in story-line and vocabulary. Go and read this book. I vouch for it!
You can buy the book from here.
About the author –
Nemat Sadat is a prominent activist and journalist currently based in the USA. He is the first native from Afghanistan to have publicly come out as gay and campaign for LGBTQIA rights in Muslim communities worldwide. While teaching at the American University of Afghanistan, he secretly mobilized a gay movement off campus but was then persecuted by the Afghan authorities and deemed a national security threat for allegedly subverting Islam. Sadat has previously worked at ABC News’s Nightline, CNN’s Fareed Zakaria GPS and the UN Chronicle, and has earned six university degrees, including graduate degrees from Harvard, Columbia, and Oxford. The Carpet Weaver is his first novel.