Ali and Nino

“Ali and Nino” by Kurban Said (Azerbaijan)


Readers enjoyed the book immensely. They liked the historical, political and cultural context of the story and the different perspectives of East and West, Muslim and Christian. One reader particularly felt how the protagonists were trapped by these contexts. They found the descriptions of the places colourful and vivid, bringing the different scenes very much alive for them. At times it felt like reading a beautifully written travel guide to the region! The simplicity of the writing style was appreciated, as was the humour scattered throughout the book. Most readers found the love story between Ali and Nino very poetic, with a likeness to Romeo and Juliet. Overall, they found it a captivating read, well worth delving into more than once. The book averaged an 8.5 out of 10.


Ali Khan and Nino Kipiani live in Baku, the cosmopolitan, oil-rich capital of Azerbaijan which, at the beginning of the twentieth century, is a melting-pot of different cultures. Ali is a Muslim, with his ancestors’ passion for the desert, and Nino is a Christian Georgian girl with sophisticated European ways… Read more

Nicola’s Book Club reading list

Season 8 – “Love & Passion in World Literature” (Sep 2008 – Jan 2009)

“A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers” by Xiaolu Guo (China)
“Ali and Nino” by Kurban Said (Azerbaijan)
“Tracks” by Louise Erdrich (U.S.)
“The Bad Girl” by Mario Vargas Llosa (Peru) *
“Wide Sargasso Sea” by Jean Rhys (Dominica) 

* The book club favourite
In italics, Nicola’s Coup de Cœur

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