Archive | 5:56 am

Reading along the Silk Road

30 Sep

Funny, how library holds work. You go along, blithely putting everything you want on hold, and then they arrive, and there’s a connection. I just read my way from Constantinople to Turkestan.

It all started with Delilah Dirk and the Turkish Lieutenant, a graphic novel by Tony Cliff. Girl power galore!


Selim is a lieutenant in the sultan’s army in early 1800s Constantinople. He lives a quiet, simple life until the day Delilah Dirk shows up in the sultan’s dungeon. While questioning her he discovers she claims to be a fearsome fighter, with deeds to her credit around the world. When she escapes, the sultan believes Selim had something to do with it, and he orders them both to be killed. Delilah frees Selim and takes him along on her adventures. You can actually read it online, for free, HERE!

Then, I read my first book on an e-reader, which was a more enjoyable experience than I expected.


The book however was amazing. If You Could Be Mine by Sara Farizan, give perspective on what it is like to be gay in Iran. Sahar and Nasrin have been best friends forever, but when Nasrin becomes engaged, Sahar delves into a hidden part of Iranian culture. Well written and easy to read, I couldn’t put this one down.

On over to India, in the days just prior to partition, with  A Moment Comes by Jennifer Bradbury.


The story is narrated by three characters, all about the same age: Tariq is a Muslim whose family is planning to leave India for Pakistan. Anupreet is a Sikh girl who has been a victim of the  violence between Sikhs, Muslims and Hindus rocking India at this time. Margaret is an english girl and the daughter of a surveyor working to create the border. Each chapter is narrated by a different character, helping see into this complicated time & place, and telling an excellent story.

The final book, The Vine Basket  by Josanne LaValley, is set among the Uyghurs of the part of eastern China, formerly known as east Turkestan.


Combining cultural geography, and themes of resistance, female empowerment La Valley tells the compelling story of Mehrigul. She has had to leave school to help support her family and lives in fear that her father will turn her over to the local Party boss as part of a quota of girls to work in factories in the South. When an American women buys one f her baskets for a huge sum, and asks her to make more, Mehrigul finally hopes her future might not be as bleak as she supposes.

%d bloggers like this: