My last blog post is still being debated (read bombed), and so I have delayed the advent of Terrorism Part 2. Which would probably be something that everyone will agree with anyway (I hope), but still, it is wise to defer an extended debate on controversial things.
We Lahoris are a Lahore-obsessed tribe. There is a whole course in LUMS called “Imagining Lahore” taught by the Dr. Furrukh Khan, one of the experts on the subject and the head of our Literature department. In another course “Food and culture”, the discussion is never far away from the type of food that we Lahoris eat, and what we perceive food as. I should know.
But anyway, we are never happier than when something big is happening in our own city, and forget the firecrackers for some time. LUMS has had the recent honor of being selected by prominent Pakistani writers for launching their latest books. Recent, did I say? Well, it has been around for some time; it is a famous story that someone here brought a pirated copy of a Bapsi Sidhwa work to be signed by the author—and the author flipped out! Lol…well…but no, let’s leave my thoughts on piracy fro another time.
After ‘A Case of Exploding Mangoes’ was launched last year, now, in less than a week, Kamila Shamsie is launching her new novel “Burnt Shadows” here as well!
Am I happily excited? I don’t know. Her books are beautiful, but….she is amazingly talented but…always a but and I fear I cannot express it as anything but but…
Maybe this one will finally explore the hurts of the common man more than the hurts of the elite, but I’m still excited. Here are the two mails that have been sent to us so far. First, there is her profile, and then the announcement.
Writer Kamila Shamsie, 33, is one of Pakistan’s most promising literary talents. First published at the age of 25, she now has four highly acclaimed books to her credit. She also received the Prime Minister’s Award for Literature in Pakistan in 1999.
Kamila’s four published novels – ‘In the City by the Sea’ (1998), ‘Salt and Saffron’ (2000), ‘Kartography’ (2002), and ‘Broken Verses’ (2005) – were written back to back, and each novel has spilled over into the other. She was still in grad school when she was revising the first, writing the second, and had already written the short story that grew into ‘Kartography’. As she worked on one novel, she would think that an idea could be worked on more. That would turn into the next novel. ‘Broken Verses’ coincided with 9/11, and US publishers didn’t want to buy it.
She had fallen into habits of writing – for example, “this generational thing”. In each of her novels, a younger generation figures out the secrets of the older one, but this was really a solution to a technical problem – a novel requires conflict, a secret is a good way to do it.
The sensational contemporary English writer Kamila Shamise is coming to LUMS for the launch of her latest book , “Burnt Shadows”. Sweeping in its scope and mesmerizing in its evocation of time and place, Burnt Shadows is an epic narrative of disasters evaded and confronted, loyalties offered and repaid, and loves rewarded and betrayed.
Date: Monday, 9th January 2009
Venue : TBA
The launch is open to all (you can invite your non-LUMINITE friends and family )
LUMS Literary Society
“In a split second, the world turns white. In the next, it explodes with the sound of fire and the horror of realization. In the numbing aftermath of a bomb that obliterates everything she has known, all that remains are the bird-shaped burns on her back, an indelible reminder of the world she has lost. In search of new beginnings, she travels to Delhi ….” ~ an excerpt from the book