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The World Is A Carpet

Four Seasons in An Afghan Village
Badkhen, Anna (Book - 2013 )
Average Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5.
The World Is A Carpet
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In the middle of the salt-frosted Afghan desert, in a village so remote that Google can't find it, a woman squats on top of a loom, making flowers bloom in the thousand threads she knots by hand. Here, where opium is cheaper than rice, every day is a fast day. B-52s pass overhead--a sign of America's omnipotence or its vulnerability, the villagers are unsure. They know, though, that the earth is flat--like a carpet.Anna Badkhen first traveled to this country in 2001, as a war correspondent. She has returned many times since, drawn by a land that geography has made a perpetual battleground, and by a people who sustain an exquisite tradition there. Through the four seasons in which a new carpet is woven by the women and children of Oqa, she immortalizes their way of life much as the carpet does--from the petal half-finished where a hungry infant needed care, to the interruptions in pattern where the women traded sex jokes or filled in for wedding musicians scared away by the Taliban. As Badkhen follows the carpet out into the world beyond, she leaves the reader with an indelible portrait of fates woven by centuries of art, war, and an ancient trade that ultimately binds the invaded to the invader.Praise for The World is a Carpet'In an age when writers too often see Afghanistan from behind guarded compound walls, Badkhen places herself alone, for a year, in rural Afghanistan. This perspective - animated by her love of the country, and her hosts - yields a remarkable account of the rhythms, the wit, and the energy of village life.' Rory Stewart, author of The Places in Between'Nearly a hundred and eighty degrees around the globe, and even farther from our imagining, Anna Badkhen captures with an unerring eye - and just as powerfully, with the haunting cadences of her narrative - the strange, harsh beauty of an unvanquished way of life.' William Langewiesche, author of Sahara Unveiled, American Ground, and The Outlaw Sea
Authors: Badkhen, Anna, 1976-
Title: The world is a carpet
four seasons in an Afghan village
Publisher: New York, New York :, Riverhead Hardcover,, 2013
Characteristics: 271 pages : illustrations, map ; 22 cm
Content Type: text
Media Type: unmediated
Carrier Type: volume
ISBN: 1594488320
9781594488320
Branch Call Number: 305.409581 BADKHEN
Statement of Responsibility: Anna Badkhen
Subject Headings: Afghanistan Social life and customs Weaving Afghanistan Carpets Afghanistan Rugs, Oriental Afghanistan Women weavers Afghanistan Women Afghanistan Social conditions 21st century Badkhen, Anna, 1976-
Topical Term: Weaving
Carpets
Rugs, Oriental
Women weavers
Women
LCCN: 2013003827
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"In the midst of war and invasion, Turkoman weavers have created gorgeous carpets for centuries (even Marco Polo loved them). In Oqa, Afghanistan, a tiny desert village so remote that it's not on the maps of Google or the regional government, award-winning journalist Anna Badkhen traces the path of one carpet, from beginning (the purchase of yarn) to its evolution (months of intricate weavings that reflect life and village events) to its journey to market. The resulting book provides a compelling portrait of a town where hunger is common, people believe the world is flat, and American fighter planes fly overhead. Like Katherine Boo's Behind the Beautiful Forevers, this elegantly written look at a group of neighbours in incredibly trying circumstances portrays fascinating people you won't soon forget." August 2013 Armchair Travel newsletter http://www.nextreads.com/Display2.aspx?SID=5acc8fc1-4e91-4ebe-906d-f8fc5e82a8e0&N=664860

Jun 12, 2013
  • JCLBrownM rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

A look at life in a remote village in war-torn Afghanistan, where opium is cheaper than rice and where some of the most beautiful carpets in the world are made.

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