Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Asne Seierstad

Is the author of The Bookseller of Kabul and now The Angel of Grozny. I've listened to a couple of BBC radio interviews with her over the past month which left me with mixed impressions. On R5 with Simon Mayo she sounded bubbly, intelligent and fun-to-know. Then on R3's Nightwaves she came across as self-regarding and generally rather insufferable.

Perhaps the very nature of the two programme formats played a role in this, and the fact that the questioning on the supposedly more high-brow broadcast covered more controversial ground, such as her legal falling out with the book-selling subject of her debut publication.

It may also be the case that the latter interview somehow also reawakened some of my semi-enterred prejudices concerning female Scandinavian do-gooders, acquired during my days at the UN (NGO section) in New York in '85 and then over twenty years of experience in Central America.

I've not read The Bookseller of Kabul though, and am feeling suitably intrigued by this exposure to the new book's publicity.

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