The Virgin's Knot

Author(s): Holly Payne


A haunting and evocative first novel set in the Turkish mountains, in the early 50s.

In Mavisu, a village in the mountains of south west Turkey, there is a young woman called Nurdane. She is very beautiful with long black hair and unlucky blue eyes. She contracted polio when she was five and is severely crippled. But her father Ali teaches her to weave to compensate for her disability. He tells her that when Allah takes something away, he gives something in return - the loss of the use of her legs is compensated for by her skill as a magical weaver of dowry rugs for brides.

But there is a catch: Allah will only continue to make rugs through her if she remains a virgin and keeps her hands pure. How can such a burden not end in tragedy?

This is a compellingly readable, beautifully written novel. It weaves magical, evocative images into a narrative full of beliefs, superstitions and wisdom.


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A beautifully written, compellingly readable debut novel Holly Payne is extremely promotable - a screenwriter, novelist and triathlete Rights have already been sold in seven countries 'Every page of THE VIRGIN'S KNOT is a tightly woven and bountiful gift to readers. Like all who lived in her Turkish village, and two exceptional men, I fell in love with the remarkable weaver and her magic carpets' Diane Leslie, author of Fleur De Leigh's Life of Crime 'Payne's debut novel is a beautifully written and evocative fable set in 1950s Turkey... Payne has conjured an entrancing blend of myth, history, and religious feminism that results in a tale as compelling as it is elusive' Booklist 'Infused with poetry and perfume, THE VIRGIN'S KNOT is that rare thing: a soulful pageturner. Holly Payne is the new Scheherazade!' Laurie Fox, author of My Sister from the Black Lagoon

Holly Payne is in her 30s. She is a screenwriter, novelist and triathlete living in San Francisco where she teaches screen writing at the Academy of Art College. She has a BA in journalism and an MFA in professional writing. She has lived and worked in London, Hungary and Turkey.

General Fields

  • : 9780752857848
  • : Orion Publishing Co
  • : Orion mass market paperback
  • : July 2003
  • : United Kingdom
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Holly Payne
  • : Paperback
  • : New edition
  • : 813.6
  • : 320