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The Virgin's Knot

About the Book

The Virgin's Knot

Holly Payne bursts onto the literary scene with this astonishing first novel about a celebrated Turkish weaver who must choose between spiritual and carnal love, between devotion to her god and submission to the primitive laws that govern her land.

Nurdane is the famed weaver of Mavisu. From her remote village in southwestern Turkey, she is believed to weave healing powers into her unique rugs—rugs that she does not keep for herself, but creates as dowries for young brides. Stricken with polio as a child, she is not expected to become a bride herself. The purity of her virginal hands is thought to pass into the extraordinary knots she weaves. The recipients of the rugs are thought to be blessed and Nurdane is treated as a living legend by the people in her village.

Nurdane's father, Ali, creates the myth of the virgin's knots in an attempt to restore honor and dignity to his handicapped daughter. Despite the esteem that accompanies her beautiful, mysterious weaving, Nurdane must choose between fulfilling her obligations to her father and her supposed purity and loving for herself.

Hennessey is an American anthropologist who travels to Turkey in search of historical ruins. After falling ill, he is taken into the care of Nurdane's doctor, Adam. The two men travel together to Mavisu, where Hennessey is as mystified and intrigued by Nurdane and her rugs as he is with his excavations. Both men are permanently changed by this trip to Mavisu and their relationships with Nurdane.

The Virgin's Knot, is rich with Turkish tradition, culture and history. Filled with unexpected twists, it celebrates life, loss and studies the path of an exceptional young woman as she searches for her true identity and a path from personal obscurity to love.

The Virgin's Knot
by Holly Payne

  • Publication Date: March 25, 2003
  • Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Plume
  • ISBN-10: 0452284457
  • ISBN-13: 9780452284456