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Showing posts from February, 2013

BOOK REVIEW: Thinner Than Skin

Published inDaily Times (Pakistan) / 23 Feb 2013
Author: Uzma Aslam Khan
Reviewed by: Afrah Jamal



Uzma Aslam Khan is the author of critically acclaimed, award winning books like Trespassing and Geometry of God. Her new novel, 'Thinner than Skin' goes off the beaten track for inspiration. A realm built upon incomprehensible layers of intrigue, violence, fairytales and legends provides the stage. People foraging for a lifeline become the props. And the inevitable soundtrack of radicalism now coursing through every fibre sets Pakistan’s modern heart to an ancient beat.

It is these paradoxes that bring its US-based protagonist, Nadir, along with a German-Pakistani girl, Farhana, on a trek from northern California to the Kaghan Valley. Wesley — the American in the background — is drawn to the mating glacier ritual, which is an actual thing. And their trusty ally/guide Irfan charts the course to their path of self-discovery past majestic mountains and ice encrusted lakes.

Their quest …

BOOK REVIEW: The Style Diary of a Bollywood Diva

Reviewed forSHE Magazine / Feb 2013
Reviewed by Afrah Jamal
Author: Kareena Kapoor with Rochelle Pinto

A diva and a critic take the stage to tell a story about style.

Retrofitted with a pink and white colour scheme, a confidential tone and helpful sign posts at every turn, this handy looking manual deploys its personal style philosophy to survive fashion-ville. At the helm of this split-screen guide to style haven is fashion columnistRochelle Pinto and film actressKareena Kapoor.

This a movie icon’s journey to ‘Size Zero’ land and beyond, where her public and private personas converge to host a confessional and a fashion manifest under a single stylish roof. Here she can present reminiscences about friends, family and beloved stylists, play the shaman, draw up plans to prevent (wo)mankind from committing any more faux pas; and show off her collection of pet designers.

Kapoor’s trendy ‘fixit’ arrives on cue to bring devout fans into the fashion loop and dazzle them with star power as …

BOOK REVIEW: How It Happened

Published in Daily Times / Sat 9 Feb 2013

Reviewed by: Afrah Jamal
Author: Shazaf Fatima Haider

Thanks to Liberty Books for the (temp) review copy

Gwendolen: I am engaged to Mr. Worthing, mamma.

Lady Bracknell: Pardon me, you are not engaged to anyone. When you do become engaged to someone, I, or your father, should his health permit him, will inform you of the fact. An engagement should come on a young girl as a surprise, pleasant or unpleasant, as the case may be. It is hardly a matter that she could be allowed to arrange for herself . . .”
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The Importance of being Earnest (Oscar Wilde)


Characters chasing ‘happily ever after’s’ are often pulled aside by enterprising elders who try to flag all but the most traditional road to the altar. A fiendishly funny narrative pounces on the retreating figure of Cupid and explores his cultural relevance in the sport they call match-making.

The saga of the Bandian clan comes with a perpetually scandalized, formidable old lady fiercely protective…