MSt almunus Nemat Sadat’s novel “The Carpet Weaver ” to be published by Penguin Random House, June 2019


(image from Penguin Random House)

From the announcement:

Penguin Random House India is proud to announce the publication of The Carpet Weaver by Nemat Sadat in June 2019.

The Kite Runner meets Brokeback Mountain in this sweeping tale of a young gay man’s struggle to come of age and find love in the face of brutal persecution.

Set largely in Afghanistan in the 1970s, The Carpet Weaver traces the odyssey of Kanishka Nurzada, who must grapple with heartbreak and fear because his gay identity is incompatible with his faith and the values his family and community hold dear. The son of a leading carpet seller, Kanishka falls in love with Maihan, with whom he shares his first kiss at the age of sixteen. 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.

Nemat Sadat is a prominent activist and journalist currently based in the USA. He is the first native from Afghanistan to have publicly come out as gay and campaign for LGBTQIA rights in Muslim communities worldwide. While teaching at the American University of Afghanistan, he secretly mobilized a gay movement off campus but was then persecuted by the Afghan authorities and deemed a national security threat for allegedly subverting Islam. Sadat has previously worked at ABC News Nightline, CNN’s Fareed Zakaria GPS, and The UN Chronicle, and has earned six university degrees, including graduate degrees from Harvard, Columbia, and Oxford. The Carpet Weaver is his first novel.”