This is a blog about my reads as well as everything related to them.
My taste is for good quality literature - old and new. Some of it I review here or on my main book blog Edith's Miscellany.
Abridged version of my review posted on Edith’s Miscellany on 31 January 2014
The 1937 novel Ali and Nino by Kurban Said (the true identity of the writer is disputed) is the first-person narrative of the Muslim Ali Khan Shirvanshir spanning the turbulent years between 1914 and 1920. The crucial period in the history of Azerbaijan is inseparably interweaved with the personal fates of the Azerbaijani narrator and Georgian Nino Kipiani whose love story serves to show cultural differences between Muslims and Christians as well as common traditions. Ali represents Asia and the traditional ways of life, thus adherence to the past, while Nino stands for Europe and progress, thus a future-oriented attitude. Consequently, when the Armenian Melik Nachararyan kidnaps Nino to marry her, Ali chases after his opponent’s car on the back of a legendary Karabakh sorrel and uses a dagger to kill him. Now Ali has to hide from the Nachararyan clan to escape the vendetta and from the Russian police. At last, Ali and Nino get married despite all. What follows is the up and down of repeated homecoming and flight in the vicissitudes of history in the Caucasus region.
The novel Ali and Nino has an unusually rich plot with many unexpected turns, but exciting and quick scenes are always followed by more contemplative ones acquainting the reader with the narrator’s observations, recollections and reflections. Language and style of the novel are engaging and easy to follow although many of the touched topics are complex and unfamiliar to a western audience. I enjoyed the read very much since it allowed me another glimpse into the Islamic ways and the difficulties to reconcile them with a modern – western – world without sacrificing the own cultural identity. Since its publication the novel has lost nothing of its power and message as proves the fact that it’s currently being adapted for the screen.
For the full review please click here to go to my blog Edith’s Miscellany .