The Rug Merchant

( 11 )

Overview

At the heart of Meg Mullins's debut novel is one of the most touchingly believable characters in recent fiction, a gentle soul in the body of an Iranian exile in New York. Ushman Khan sells exquisite hand-woven rugs to a wealthy clientele that he treats with perfect rectitude. He is lonely, and his loneliness becomes unbearable when he learns that his wife in Iran is leaving him. But when a young woman named Stella comes into his store, what ensues is a love story that is all the more moving because its ...

See more details below
Paperback (Reprint)
$14.32
BN.com price
(Save 10%)$16.00 List Price
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (72) from $1.99   
  • New (17) from $1.99   
  • Used (55) from $1.99   
The Rug Merchant

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK Study
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$12.99
BN.com price

Overview

At the heart of Meg Mullins's debut novel is one of the most touchingly believable characters in recent fiction, a gentle soul in the body of an Iranian exile in New York. Ushman Khan sells exquisite hand-woven rugs to a wealthy clientele that he treats with perfect rectitude. He is lonely, and his loneliness becomes unbearable when he learns that his wife in Iran is leaving him. But when a young woman named Stella comes into his store, what ensues is a love story that is all the more moving because its protagonists understand tragedy. The Rug Merchant will sweep readers away with its inspiring, character-rich tale about shaking free from disappointment and finding connection and acceptance in whatever form they appear.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review from Discover Great New Writers
The luxurious, hand-woven rugs Ushman Khan sells in his New York shop are rich with history and tradition; their beauty a vivid, painful reminder of all he has left behind. A world away from his native Iran, he has worked hard to become a successful rug merchant. His days are spent indulging the whims of his clients, the wealthy and privileged; his nights, without friends or diversion, find him unsettled and alone. He misses his wife, Farak, back in Tabriz, and longs for the day she will join him in America.

Killing time at JFK airport, Ushman meets Stella, a college student half his age. Their unlikely yet powerful alliance is a comfort when Ushman is forced to confront the inconceivable, a hopeful reminder of the possibility of unanticipated happiness in a foreign land.

The Rug Merchant is a debut novel of uncommon grace and sensitivity. Mullins has created a memorable character in Ushman Khan: An immigrant by turns resolute, angry, and confused, he nonetheless possesses a rare wisdom and courage. Beautifully written and wonderfully told, Mullins's novel is replete with revelations and pleasures, the foremost of which is the striking simplicity of her story and her unforgettable portrait of an immigrant in America. (Summer 2006 Selection)
The Philadelphia Inquirer
A powerful experience that does what all good literature should: it tells us a little more about what it means to be human.
The Baltimore Sun
Beautifully written and at times hilariously funny ... an enduring and poignant portrait.
Chicago Tribune
[Mullins] has imagined a tale as nuanced and alluring as the hand-woven patterns of the rugs that are at the heart of Ushman's American life.
Publishers Weekly
New York City teems with quiet desperation in this lucidly written but languid debut novel. The titular carpet salesman, Ushman Khan, has left his mother and his wife, Farak, in Iran in order to make a new start in America. Told from Khan's perspective, the narrative traces his subtle acculturation into Western life while he sets up shop and develops loyal customers like the wealthy socialite Mrs. Roberts. He plans for his wife to join him, but learns that she has divorced him for a Turkish salesman. Crushed, Ushman buys plane tickets to Paris he will never use and finds temporary, self-loathing comfort in a prostitute. Only when he meets Stella, a Barnard freshman, does he begin to see a way out of his isolation. Like him, Stella is an outsider struggling with loss and looking for connection, but Ushman must first resolve his conflicted feelings about women and sex and American culture. Originally developed as a short story that appeared in The Best American Short Stories 2002, this melancholy novel droops under the weight of a sympathetic but tentative, passive protagonist who can find no real solution to his profound alienation. (Mar.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
Ushman Khan, a purveyor of fine rugs from Iran, is straddling two worlds, living in New York, while dreaming of his life and wife back in Tabriz. When it is finally clear to him that his wife will never join him in New York, he spends his free time at the airport watching other husbands and wives connect. Eventually he befriends Stella, a lonely freshman at Barnard College who is seeing her parents off on a trip to Europe. Ushman and Stella develop an unlikely romance that both know will not last. Writing primarily from Ushman's point of view, Mullins conveys to the reader Ushman's sense of being within a world to which he does not belong. He carries this sense of dis-ease with him in both his professional and personal lives. The reader is also able to peer into the mind of an Iranian who enjoys the relative freedoms of New York, but still wishes for more familiar social territory. Though Ushman had resisted the regime of the Ayatollah, he finds that in New York he misses the long robes women were required to wear in Iran. "[The bejah] succeed in hiding not only a woman's skin and hair but also a man's lust. Not destroying it but hiding it from himself. Preventing him from seeing the parts of a woman that arouse, distract, tempt" (p. 34). Mullins develops the character of Ushman fully, but gives less clear insight into Stella and her desire to sleep with an older man from another culture. Even without giving us Stella's inner thoughts, the story is tightly written and compelling. The intimate sexual content is not gratuitous but central to the telling of the story. 2006, Viking/Penguin, Ages 16 up.
—Wendy M. Smith-D'Arezzo
Library Journal
This thoughtful, poignant love story that crosses cultures is sure to please readers. Iranian Ushman Kahn is a lonely and isolated rug merchant who recently moved to New York City. Working hard to earn enough money to bring his wife to America, Ushman has carefully built his business so that he is well known throughout the city as catering to an exclusive, upper-class clientele. When he learns that his wife doesn't want to join him, he becomes bitter and disillusioned and soon finds himself wandering the airport every evening, searching for meaning to his existence. There he meets a lovely young American student who is also isolated and lonely, and they form an unforgettable bond that changes both their lives. Quiet and unassuming, this debut is as rich as the hand-woven rugs Ushman sells, with colorful descriptions and complex characters that provide a rewarding study in contrasts between the joy of love and the pain of vulnerability. Recommended for all public libraries. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 11/15/05.]-Kellie Gillespie, City of Mesa Lib., AZ Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780143112099
  • Publisher: Viking Penguin
  • Publication date: 6/26/2007
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 5.08 (w) x 7.77 (h) x 0.62 (d)

Meet the Author

Meg Mullins earned her MFA at Columbia. The story that formed the basis of this novel appeared in the Best American Short Stories in 2002.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 11 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(4)

4 Star

(3)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(2)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 11 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 10, 2006

    Skip this one

    When I first started reading this book, it seemed interesting. But as I continued to read it, it just seemed like it was not going anywhere with the characters. You want Ushman to find someone but then he gets involved with someone who isn't compatible with him in the least. And how can he be when his mind is still on his ex-wife? Not sure where the older rich lady fits into the whole story as well, she was just a very annoying character! The book was an easy read but just needed a good plot! It was symbolic of an episode of 'Sex in the City' as far as we are all living in this bumbling city and are lonely but it just did it without the humour or any closure..

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 17, 2006

    Well Done!

    The author of this book did a outstanding job with making the reader feel sympathy for Ushman, the main character. When I first picked this book up I expected a rosy, cheery romance, but this was not the case. This is a dark book to read.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 11, 2012

    WASTE OF TIME. Did not care for any of the characters in this b

    WASTE OF TIME. Did not care for any of the characters in this book. Ushman is a whiner, Stella is a typical self center college brat, and Mrs. Roberts is a disturbing voyeur of life. The storyline had great potential but immediately turned into a boring, tedious story about an mid-aged immigrant who doesn't really know what he wants (or how to get it). I found the Mrs. Roberts character extremely disturbing. Stella is a typical rich brat with a me, me, me attitude. There was no real story to be told. All in all, I would never recommend this book to anyone. I normally always share books with my co-workers after I have read them but I threw this book in the trash. Wouldn't subject anyone to this drivel.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 13, 2012

    LOVED THE RUG MERCHANT

    Could not not put this bookd done. It is so rich in the intertwined culture of his past and present. I would like to see it made into a movie.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 17, 2010

    One of My Top Three Favorite Books

    I found this book (hardcover) in a used bookstore in Ocean City/Fenwick Island, MD/DE. I was intrigued by the man walking on the carpet. I am also drawn to the fact that it talked about so much more than just Ushman. It addressed the issues of arranged marriage, the duty of marriage, and above all, the loss that comes with it.

    For this, I am grateful.

    I also cannot remember her name, but the woman who he does much of his business with, he relates to her in the end when her husband dies. He can in this sense because he lost his wife and the young girl who he had a short-lived romance with.

    In a way, Ushman learns to love and depend on himself.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 12, 2009

    A Big Disappointment

    The book had an interesting start but then rapidly deteriorated. The author did a fine job in making this reader have an opinion of Ushman. He comes across as a whiny, spineless, user. The plot is thin and the characters other than Ushman are developed minimally. How did this ever get published? It was a waste of my time to read. I did finish it thinking it would be redeemed by the ending. It just didn't happen. I wonder if some of the other reviewers even read this book as some of their statements contradict the content of the book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 5, 2006

    LIFE'S POSSIBILITIES FINELY VOICED

    Stage, television and film actor Bill Camp brings to life one of the most affecting characters to appear in recent literature, Ushman Kahn. By turns hopeful. confused, despondent, Kahn is all of these and Camp reflects these emotions not only in the author's words but also with the timbre of his voice - a superlative narrative. Kahn has left his native city, Tabriz, following a horrific earthquake. He hopes to build a successful business in Manhattan selling beautiful handwoven rugs from his homeland. Farak, his wife, has remained in Iran to care for Kahn's elderly mother. All Kahn wants is to make enough to bring her to America to join him. He is a displaced person not only trying to make a living but also accustom himself to a strange land and alien customs. One of the first persons with whom he comes in contact is a wealthy woman from the Upper East Side, Mrs. Roberts. She not only buys from him but is also intrigued by this unusual man. Kahn is devastated and bitter when he learns that Farak has been unfaithful to him and is pregnant with another man's child. He is so distraught that he throws away an expensive rug that he has just sold to Mrs. Roberts. This is his state of mind when he meets Stella, a 19-year-old Barnard student. Surely, they would seem to be an unlikely pair, yet she, too, grieves and the two are drawn to one another. Listen and enjoy as each learns to accept and rediscover the possibilities that life offers. - Gail Cooke

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 9, 2006

    Great read!

    I loved this book! I felt so much empathy for the main character. It is a wonderfully woven tale of love, obsession and betrayal.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 10, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 20, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 11, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 11 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)