Book Reviews

  • In the Name of Honour: A Memoir by Mukhtar Mai

    "In June 2002, Mukhtar Mai, a Pakistani woman from the impoverished village of Meerwala, was gang raped by a local clan known as the Mastoi -- punishment for indiscretions allegedly committed by the woman's brother. While certainly not the first account of a female body being negotiated for honor in a family, this time the survivor had bravely chosen to fight back…"

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  • Pakistan on the Brink: The Future of America, Pakistan, and Afghanistan by Ahmed Rashid

    "Back in the spring of 2002 everything seemed possible. You could drive from Lahore, Pakistan's eastern city close to its border with India, across to Peshawar on the border with Afghanistan, and then on through the mountains and gorges to Kabul without any great concern for your own security. After years of neglect, Kabul itself was full of bustling aid workers, consultants, soldiers and journalists…"

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  • Pakistan: A Hard Country by Anatol Lieven

    "During the regime of Gen. Pervez Musharraf, it became the policy of the United States to help spread Sufi Islam in Pakistan. A Sufi council was formed and a few seminars and some musical concerts were held; a Sufi University is still being worked on. Meanwhile, Sufi shrines have been attacked all across Pakistan…"

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  • Granta 112: Pakistan edited by John Freeman

    "When Granta magazine brought out a special India edition to mark the nation's "Golden Jubilee" year in 1997, the collection appeared to have a genuine sense of celebration, of a nation fighting to free itself from the ghost of colonial rule. More than a decade later, Granta has turned its attention to India's beleaguered, bullet-riddled neighbour, Pakistan…"

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  • In Other Rooms, Other Wonders by Daniyal Mueenuddin

    "Reading Daniyal Mueenuddin’s mesmerizing first collection, “In Other Rooms, Other Wonders,” is like watching a game of blackjack, the shrewd players calculating their way beyond their dealt cards in an attempt to beat the dealer. Some bust, others surrender. But in Mueenuddin’s world, no one wins…"

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  • The Wandering Falcon by Jamil Ahmad

    "The riders advanced at a four-beat gait on an unpaved track that bisected swatches of hilly farmland. Flint jingled under their donkeys’ hoofs. The tiny mirrors sewn into the skullcaps of the men and the enormous homespun silk scarves of the women shimmered in the sun, reflecting fragments of their world: the cerulean fields of chicory, the emerald slopes of winter wheat, the quivering gold of Afghan road dust churned up by their procession and suspended between heaven and earth…"

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