Damages awarded to 'The Bookseller of Kabul' wife

The author and publisher of bestselling The Bookseller of Kabul have been ordered to pay 250,000 kroner (€31,345) in damages to a woman portrayed in the book.

The Daily Dagbladet newspaper said today that the Oslo district court ruled journalist Asne Seierstad infringed the privacy of Suraia Rais in her book, named after Rais’s husband, Shah Mohammad Rais.

Seierstad lived with the Rais family in Kabul in 2002 and published the book, about their personal relationships and feelings, shortly afterwards.

The court ruled Seierstad did not act in good faith to ensure the account of Rais’s feelings was accurate and “Rais was not the source of the information”.

Seierstad’s and Rais’ lawyers were not immediately available for comment.

Lawyer Cato Schiotz said the Oslo district court ruled his client, war correspondent Seierstad, had used inaccurate information in her accounts of Rais and did not act in good faith.

He said he was disappointed with the ruling and would encourage Seierstad and the publisher, Cappelen Damm, to appeal.

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