"THE RUG MERCHANT is a moving, intelligent portrait of the immigrant Ushman's double life, and the absorbing story of a love affair brimming with surprises. Mullins' writing is incisive and emotionally acute---a beautiful debut."
- Rene Steinke, author of HOLY SKIRTS,
finalist for the 2005 National Book Award in fiction

"Meg Mullins has written a moving, crystalline tale of love, reminiscent of E.M. Forster. Her prose is precise, nuanced, and vivid. I was enchanted and intrigued with this tale from the beginning, and found myself pondering its intricacies long after I'd put the book down."
- Aurelie Sheehan,author of

"Quiet and unassuming, this debut is as rich as the hand-woven rugs Ushman sells, with colorful descriptions and complex characters that provide a rewarding study in contrasts between the joy of love and the pain of vulnerability."
-Library Journal

"...lucidly written..."
Publisher's Weekly

"This novel is beautifully written and at times hilariously funny, but overwhelmingly an enduring and poignant portrait of the depth of loneliness."
-The Baltimore Sun

"...This is not a tale of doomed love or a clash of cultures, not a sexual awakening or a spiritual epiphany, but a small and sweet story of solace."
-The Boston Globe

"Melancholy and touching."
-New York Daily News

"[a] tender debut novel. Mullins is smart enough about the human spirit to know that it can't be saved by love alone. But she also knows a touch of ordinary soothing can rouse a man from a hopeless dream and help him see the joy in his real life, no matter how great his despair."
-Raleigh News & Observer

"...A complex tale of lost love, conflicting cultures and the human ability to find purpose in unexpected places."
-Scottsdale Tribune

"...Mullins faultlessly weaves a story of sadness and joy, confusion and confidence, anger and- of course- commerce."
-Albuquerque Journal

"This beautifully woven tale is knotted with the melancholy of those caught between a past that defines them and a future they are not yet prepared to engage."
-Santa Fe New Mexican

"Here is a beautifully written and richly satisfying cross-cultural tale of love and transformation set in New York City."
-Spirituality & Practice Magazine

"Transcendently sympathetic, Ushman is a rare jewel in a glass and concrete forest, trapped between anguish and the headiness of new experience, ambushed by the unfamiliar feelings, thrust into an intimate relationship with his own heart. THE RUG MERCHANT is an intricate and nuanced love story, written with a delicate, deft touch."

"Emotionally complex and skillfully and sensitively told... vivid... mystical... touchable."

"An extraordinary debut... THE RUG MERCHANT is a complex tale (told) with a delicate prose... Mullins's auspiciously wonderful debut is highly recommended and I anxiously await her next novel."

" impressive achievement. She cuts through the busy exterior of Ushman's life and exposes his deep inner confusion and isolation with prose that is bracing, clear-eyed and unsentimental, yet nearly poetic in its turns of phrase... Mullins has created a startling, intriguing, fully-realized character in her rug merchant and, even more impressive, a beautifully new interpretation of New York, that city of clichés."

© 2010 Meg Mullins