Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from September, 2011

BOOK REVIEW: The Good Muslim

Thanks to Liberty Books for the review copy

Published in Daily Times / Saturday, September 17, 2011

Reviewed by: Afrah Jamal
Author: Tahmima Anam

They call it a debacle for a reason.

Once the victory lap is over — the drumbeats of war lie silenced, the voices of protest are stifled — new questions arise. Can a landscape of fear be used to stage a new production of hope?

The sequel to A Golden Age is set in the immediate aftermath of the 1971 Indo-Pak war. The map of the subcontinent has been hastily rearranged — a new country has staked its claim on the spot where once stood East Pakistan.

Thirteen years on there are no thanksgiving celebrations.

Tahmima Anam takes a brooding look at the horrors of war and the price of peace through the eyes of Maya and Sohail — siblings who played their part in carving out a fresh national identity. One is a crusading doctor newly returned home and the other, a former warrior, has replaced arms with the Book. The story is centred on a fraught homecomi…

BOOK REVIEW: Playing with fire: Pakistan at War with Itself / By Pamela Constable

Published in Daily Times / Monday, September 05, 2011

Reviewed by Afrah Jamal


So this is where your people retreat from fundamentalist kind?”

It was not, but to the nice American perhaps that golf course appeared like a sanctuary in a land riven by violence. While it is true that every day something new drives a stake in this illusion of security, that day — at least — there was not a single fundamentalist in sight.

Today, such private islands are under threat alongside everything else. Pamela Constable, foreign correspondent and former deputy foreign editor at The Washington Post, puts the nation under intense scrutiny, identifying the war for Pakistan’s soul “with one set pulling it forwards towards a modern international era, the other back toward a traditional and ingrown world”.

Her new book knits disparate elements of Pakistani society extracted from various testimonies into a grotesque tapestry littered with bloodcurdling tales of injustice and violence. Segments from crisply…