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Quick Review - Ali and Nino, A Love Story
by Kurban Said
Ali and Nino is a grand love story in the tradition of the grandest of love stories. There is childhood romance, warring families, murder and war - all rolled up neatly in a short 270 page book. I was led to this little classic through the enthusiastic recommendation of Paul Theroux who provides a glowing afterword in the current edition. It is the story of a romance between a Muslim, Ali Khan Shirvanshir and the lovely Christian, Princess Nino Kipiani. It is also the story of Ali Khan's confusion over his identity - is he Asian or European? Ali and Nino's romance kindles in the city of Baku as the city awaits its fate at the hands of the big European and Asiatic powers fighting all around it.
Kurban Said, the book's pseudonymous writer is supposedly a composite of two distinct personalities - Baroness Elfriede Ehrenfels and Lev Nussimbaum (whose profile on Wikipedia makes for interesting reading -
I enjoyed the book. Recommended.

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