Icon Books £8.99 (334pp) from the Independent Bookshop: 08430 600 030
A Carpet Ride To Khiva, By Christopher Aslan Alexander
Friday 02 July 2010
Christopher Aslan Alexander begins his journey to Khiva, in Uzbekistan, like any other itinerant, media-studies graduate employed to write an online tourist's guidebook might: living with an over-protective host family, gurning at the cuisine and reflecting urbanely on a country "marooned somewhere between Mohammed and Marx" where the government has pasted "Wanted" posters of Wahabis outside mosques.
Then a narrative switch flips as Alexander falls in love: with the place and its ancient practice of carpet making. His endeavour becomes emotional - so much more than the guidebook he set out to write - and his prose is, from thereon in, infused by the passion he comes to feel for this curious country and its people.
film Sex scene trailer sees a shirtless Jamie Dornan turn up the heat
Maisie Williams single-handedly rises to the challengeTV
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Woman falls to her death as she celebrates marriage proposal at the edge of Ibiza cliff
- 2 Venezuela Expo Tattoo 2015: Extreme body art from 'Vampire Woman' to 109mm earlobes
- 3 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 4 Dad attempts revenge on teenage daughter, plan backfires spectacularly
- 5 Ball pool for adults opens in London
Game of Thrones, season 5: Grey Worm actor Jacob Anderson is all for more male nudity – as long as he can keep his clothes on
Venezuela Expo Tattoo 2015: Extreme body art from 'Vampire Woman' to 109mm earlobes
Game of Thrones really doesn't want Danny Dyer - EastEnders star rejected three times
Martin Scorsese 'in shock' after death on set of new film Silence
Game of Thrones season 5 trailer: The first full-length look is here
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
Have we reached 'peak food'? Shortages loom as global production rates slow
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures
King Abdullah dead: We can't afford not to hold Saudi Arabia's royals to account