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The virgin's knot. (Paperback Fiction).

PAYNE, Holly. The virgin's knot. Penguin Putnam, Plume. 303p. c2002. 0-452-28445-7. $14.00.


Holly Payne writes of a world seldom seen by the Western world, except in beautiful Turkish rugs. These rugs only hint at the complexity of the culture they come from. In this novel, set in the Taurus mountains of Turkey in the I 950s, the modern world and the traditional world meet. Nurdane is a young woman who is a master of her weaver's craft, valued for her skill in weaving exquisite rugs in which each tuft of wool is carefully dyed and knotted. Rugs are treasured as part of a bride's dowry and for their power to create happiness for their owners. Nurdane has been crippled by polio and can never expect to marry. If she does, she will no longer be able to produce her "virgin's knots" and will lose her ability to create her rugs. When two Westerners, a doctor who treats her and a young scientist, come to her village, they bring with them different expectations for Nurdane's future. Nurdane feels compelled to fulfill her religious belief that when Allah takes something away, he also gives something, leading to the dramatic climax of the story. The reader will feel immersed in the culture and richness of Payne's writing and images, which are as complex as the designs of the rugs Nurdane creates. Nola Theiss, Sanibel, FL
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Author:Theiss, Nola
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Jul 1, 2003
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