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Publisher's Summary

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 16. 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

©2020 Nemat Sadat (P)2020 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

"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, editor of The Greatest Show on Earth: Writings on Bollywood

"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)

"A compelling story of love, hatred, homosexuality, fanaticism and political clashes in Afghanistan . . . A richly rewarding read!" (Financial Express)

"Nemat Sadat's prose is lucid and his turns of phrase hold the reader . . . This is a brave and beautiful debut." (Hindustan Times)

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What listeners say about The Carpet Weaver

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  • Overall
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    5 out of 5 stars

A Soulful Narrative

This being my first audio read I was sceptical about going with this book but having had read Khalid Hosseini I decided to go with it....now I am glad that I picked it up. This book is brimming with faith, positivity and conviction, but throttles and jostles you with the ugly side of life too. A good read. Wishing good luck and success to the author!

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Coming of age, coming-out, awesome narration

The Carpet Weaver - Loved it! Just finished in one go. This book was on editor's pick and on my recommendations list. At first I was not sure if I should pick this for my first audio reading. And to my surprise it has everything worth it! This book has best voice and narration. Kudos to the narrator! ;) Equally amazing plot and I loved how the protagonist was so brave through out his journey and coming out.💛

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If you love Khaled hosseni this is your book

It is a homoromantic novel which is set in unstable background of Afgan war .

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Stunning Narration

This was my first audiobook experience and I'm glad I started with The Carpet Weaver. I was so disappointed when the Acknowledgements popped up suddenly. This will ne my only complaint with the author- it ended too soon! I wanted to know what the future holds for Kanishka; that's how involved I was in the narrative. This brings me to my favourite part of the book: Narration. Abhishek Ajay Sharma is more than a mere narrator or sutradhar here. He breathes life into each character and their most trivial thoughts and actions. I wasn't just listening to the story, I became a part of it, thanks to him. There's a certain gravitas in the narration that you just cannot ignore. Loved it!

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  • 18-05-20

Pride Love

With beautifully woven words Nemat Sadat and with a scintillating voice Abhishek Ajay Sharma, took me to a completely different world. I felt an array of emotions as I read the story of two young lovers unable to unite because of taboos, religion and community. I felt their love for each other, disgust for the crimes inflicted on them in the name of God and ignorance, I felt thier yearning to be free. This book also introduced me to the melting pot of cultures, traditions and cuisines Afganistan is. It showed me the consequences the country faced due to political decisions. To my fellow readers I would say read this book to broaden your perception of love, sacrifice and hope.

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Coming of age and coming out

Narration was superb. the richness of description of places food and the characters, brings a rich visual stimulus. I was moved by the plot and cultural richness of the narrative. The coming of age of a gay protagonist is a fresh and new story that needs to be told.

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Marvellous story and storytelling

The love story at its purest form. Love sees no gender. The political chaos destroyed many lives so it did Kanishka’s. When you reunite with the long lost love and it destroys you further, you will an emptiness within. I love the story and the storytelling. Brilliant job! P.S. I did cry at moments. Blame the emotional narration.