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The Carpet Weaver
Author: Nemat Sadat

Publisher: Penguin Viking
ISBN: 978-0670092048
Pages: 304
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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.

A story that is wrenched from the headlines-of an underground newspaper. Nemat Sadat weaves the political and the personal into a brutal story of love and betrayal in the time of war (JERRY PINTO)

Nothing like this has ever come out of Afghanistan. And nobody from this region has ever written a more compelling narrative about love and redemption than Nemat Sadat. Through The Carpet Weaver, Sadat has achieved what any debutant would love to be credited with. An unputdownable book. (ANEES SALIM)

Gripping . . . Accomplished . . . Captivating . . . A novel about how beautiful life can be, and how ugly we often make it. The bravery of its narrator is not just the bravery of being gay or turning an atheist; it is also the bravery of retaining hope in the midst of despair, quoting poetry in the face of persecution. (THE HINDU)

[A] powerful story . . . From war-torn Afghanistan to a refugee camp in Pakistan to the US, the plot covers a wide geographical arc . . . [Filled with] erotically charged vignettes [that offer] glimpses into [Kanishka's] inner life [and] painstaking descriptions of customs and rituals that are germane to Afghan life . . . Moments of ironic reversal are many [and the] moments of reckoning remain complex, the emotions behind them are not fully knowable. The ending [...] isn't without its redemptive grace. (MINT)

"The Carpet Weaver" deals with many issues that appear in Khaled Hosseini's "The Kite Runner", but while Hosseini's Amir finally gets a chance to make amends, Kanishka's battle for acceptance goes on even after he reaches the land of freedom . . . An honest and compassionate story. (INDIA TODAY)

[A] powerful debut . . . You might not be one amongst the LGBTQ community. You might not be an Afghan. You might not even be a Muslim. But thanks to Sadat's immense skill at weaving love, sexuality, friendship, and politics into the beautiful tapestry that is The Carpet Weaver, the novel might make you all of them, at least while you're reading it. (SCROLL.IN)

Sadat's vision seems to be clear - to tell a sweeping story that hums with the engine of activism, holding within it themes of a grand love, death, secrets, betrayal, and redemption . . . [The Carpet Weaver] reshapes itself from the story of star-crossed lovers to something much greater: freedom - from the past, tradition, singular love - and the transformative power of hope. (HUFFPOST INDIA)