Two Sisters: A Father, His Daughters, and Their Journey Into the Syrian Jihad

      Åsne Seierstad
Two Sisters: A Father, His Daughters, and Their Journey Into the Syrian Jihad

Two Sisters, by the international bestselling author Asne Seierstad, tells the unforgettable story of a family divided by faith. Sadiq and Sara, Somali immigrants raising a family in Norway, one day discover that their teenage daughters Leila and Ayan have vanished--and are en route to Syria to aid the Islamic State. Seierstad's riveting account traces the sisters' journey from secular, social democratic Norway to the front lines of the war in Syria, and follows Sadiq's harrowing attempt to find them.

Employing the same mastery of narrative suspense she brought to The Bookseller of Kabul and One of Us, Seierstad puts the problem of radicalization into painfully human terms, using instant messages and other primary sources to reconstruct a family's crisis from the inside. Eventually, she takes us into the hellscape of the Syrian civil war, as Sadiq risks his life in pursuit of his daughters, refusing to let them disappear into the maelstrom--even after they marry ISIS fighters. Two Sisters is a relentless thriller and a feat of reporting with profound lessons about belief, extremism, and the meaning of devotion.

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    A Hundred and One Days: A Baghdad Journal

      Åsne Seierstad
A Hundred and One Days: A Baghdad Journal

For one hundred and one days Asne Seierstad worked as a reporter in Baghdad. Always in search of a story far less obvious than the American military invasion, Seierstad brings to life the world behind the headlines in this compelling- and heartbreaking-account of her time among the people of Iraq. From the moment she first arrived in Baghdad on a ten-day visa, she was determined to unearth the modern secrets of an ancient place and to find out how the Iraqi people really live. What do people miss most when their world changes overnight? What do they choose to say when they can suddenly say what they like? Seierstad reveals what life is like for everyday people under the constant threat of attack- first from the Iraqi government and later from American bombs. Displaying the novelist's eye and lyrical storytelling that have won her awards around the world, Seierstad here brings to life an unforgettable cast of characters, from foreign press apparatchik Uday, to Zahra, a mother of three, to Aliya, the guide and translator who becomes a friend. Putting their trust in a European woman with no obvious agenda, these and other Iraqis speak for themselves, to tell the stories we never see on the evening news.

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    The Bookseller of Kabul

      Åsne Seierstad
The Bookseller of Kabul

In spring 2002, following the fall of the Taliban, Åsne Seierstad spent four months living with a bookseller and his family in Kabul.

For more than twenty years Sultan Khan defied the authorities—be they communist or Taliban—to supply books to the people of Kabul. He was arrested, interrogated and imprisoned by the communists, and watched illiterate Taliban soldiers burn piles of his books in the street. He even resorted to hiding most of his stock—almost ten thousand books—in attics all over Kabul.

But while Khan is passionate in his love of books and his hatred of censorship, he also has strict views on family life and the role of women. As an outsider, Åsne Seierstad found herself in a unique position, able to move freely between the private, restricted sphere of the women—including Khan’s two wives—and the freer, more public lives of the men.

It is an experience that Seierstad finds both fascinating and frustrating. As she steps back from the page and allows the Khans to speak for themselves, we learn of proposals and marriages, hope and fear, crime and punishment. The result is a genuinely gripping and moving portrait of a family, and a clear-eyed assessment of a country struggling to free itself from history.' to 'This mesmerizing portrait of a proud man who, through three decades and successive repressive regimes, heroically braved persecution to bring books to the people of Kabul has elicited extraordinary praise throughout the world and become a phenomenal international bestseller. The Bookseller of Kabul is startling in its intimacy and its details—a revelation of the plight of Afghan women and a window into the surprising realities of daily life in today’s Afghanistan.'

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    One of Us: The Story of Anders Breivik and the Massacre in Norway

      Åsne Seierstad
One of Us: The Story of Anders Breivik and the Massacre in Norway

A harrowing and thorough account of the massacre that upended Norway, and the trial that helped put the country back together

On July 22, 2011, Anders Behring Breivik detonated a bomb outside government buildings in central Oslo, killing eight people. He then proceeded to a youth camp on the island of Utøya, where he killed sixty-nine more, most of them teenage members of Norway’s governing Labour Party. In One of Us, the journalist Åsne Seierstad tells the story of this terrible day and what led up to it. What made Breivik, a gifted child from an affluent neighborhood in Oslo, become a terrorist?
     As in her bestseller The Bookseller of Kabul, Seierstad excels at the vivid portraiture of lives under stress. She delves deep into Breivik’s troubled childhood, showing how a hip-hop and graffiti aficionado became a right-wing activist and Internet game addict, and then an entrepreneur, Freemason, and self-styled master warrior who sought to “save Norway” from the threat of Islam and multiculturalism. She writes with equal intimacy about Breivik’s victims, tracing their political awakenings, aspirations to improve their country, and ill-fated journeys to the island. By the time Seierstad reaches Utøya, we know both the killer and those he will kill. We have also gotten to know an entire country—famously peaceful and prosperous, and utterly incapable of protecting its youth.

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