Åsne Seierstad

Norwegian freelance journalist Åsne Seierstad (1970- ) is best known for The Bookseller of Kabul, her account of the time she spent with a bookseller in Kabul.

Sultan Khan (not his real name) was a bookseller in Kabul. He defied the authorities and for twenty years supplied books to the people of Kabul. He was arrested, imprisoned and tortured. He watched illiterate soldiers burn piles of his books in the street.

Norwegian journalist Åsne Seierstad spent four months living with the bookseller and his family. The Bookseller of Kabul is her account of that time.

Shah Muhammad Rais (the real life Sultan Khan) is none too keen on his portrayal in The Bookseller of Kabul, in particular the depiction of his treatment of the women in his family. He has subsequently brought out his own book describing his own version of events, which he sells in his Kabul bookshop. He has also threatened Åsne Seierstad with libel action in Norway for what he claims is defamation of character.

Åsne Seierstad has also written With Their Backs To The World, later retitled Portraits from Serbia, her account of her time in Serbia, both under Nato bombing, and when she later visited Serbia.

Other books include One Hundred and One Days, an account of time spent in Iraq, before, during and after the US attacks on Iraq.

Åsne Seierstad lives and works in Oslo.

Copies of The Bookseller of Kabul (BCID 5426297 and BCID 5560063) and One Hundred and One Days have been registered as BookCrossing books.

BookCrossing books are released into the wild their progress checked through the Internet via a unique BookCrossing ID (BCID).

(c) Keith Parkins 2007 -- October 2007 rev 1