male family member Sultan Khan with a pseudonym in order to protect his true identity. As a journalist and a writer Seierstad is intrigued by the character of Sultan Khan and shares his passion for the written word which stems from an early childhood fascination for collecting books:
First the Communists burnt my books, then the Mujahedeen looted and pillaged, finally the Taliban burnt them all over again,’ he told me. I spent hours listening to the bookseller’s stories about his battles against the different regimes and their censors, how he launched his personal fight, hiding books from the police, lending them out to others − and finally going to prison for it. He was a man who had tried to save the art and literature of his country, while a string of dictators did their best to destroy them. (Seierstad, 2008, forward).