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From Barnes & NobleThe 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)