Some Novels are timeless; Ali and Nino is one of them. Despite a mysterious publishing history, it is a novel that keeps being rediscovered and adored by new generations of readers, who find in it both a bewitchingly romantic novel of love and adventure and a fascinating insight into the gulf between East and West, the Muslim and the Christian worlds, where they meet in the Caucasus.
Ali Khan and Nino Kipiani live in the cosmopolitan, oil-rich capital of Azerbaijan which, at the beginning of the twentieth century is a melting-pot of different cultures. Ali is a Muslim with his ancestors passion for the desert, and Nino is a Christian Gregorian girl with sophisticated European ways. Despite their differences, the two have loved each other since childhood and Ali is determined he will marry Nino as soon as she leaves school. But there is not only the obstacle of their different religons and parental consent to overcome. The first World War breaks out. As the Russians withdraw, the Turks advance, and Ali and Nino fins themselves swept up in Azerbaijan's fight for independence.
Like Romeo and Juliet or Dr Zhivago, Ali and Nino is a classic story of two lovers divided by family and war. A short book with an epic sweep, its picture of a Russia fraught with Ethnic conflict is as relevant today as when the book was first written.
Original title: Ali und Nino
Genre: Fiction→ General Fiction