04-19-2007 11:00 AM
Mohsin Hamid's Debut
Hamid's first novel, Moth Smoke, is set in Pakistan, among Lahore's fast-paced, hard-living young urbanites. Darashikoh Shezad, who has recently been fired from his banking job and is slipping from the high ground of Pakistan's elite, turns to a life of crime and ends up implicated in a murder. Praised for its unflinching, unexoticized portrait of contemporary Lahore, Moth Smoke was a cult favorite and a bestseller in Pakistan, winner of a Betty Trask Award in the UK, and a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway award in the US.
Additional Recommended Reading
Richard North Patterson
David Wolfe’s life is near perfect when Hana Arif -- the Palestinian woman with whom he had a secret affair in law school -- calls. The next day, the prime minister of Israel is assassinated and Hana is accused of being the mastermind behind the murder. Will David, a Jew, represent Hana? Or will he turn away the one woman he can never forget? Ultimately, David’s quest takes him to Israel and the West Bank, where he learns that appearances are not at all what they seem.
At the center of this large-scale ensemble novel is Ahmad Mulloy Asmawy, a radically alienated Egyptian-Irish-American teenager who falls under the thrall of a New Jersey storefront jihadist. In strange counterpoint to Ahmad is Jack Levy, a 63-year-old guidance counselor who hopes to steer this fledgling terrorist away from absolutist influences. As only he can, Updike places us inside the psyche of someone who, given the opportunity, would do the unthinkable.
The Inheritance of Loss
In a crumbling, isolated house at the foot of Mount Kanchenjunga lives an embittered old judge who wants to retire in peace. When his orphaned granddaughter, Sai, arrives on his doorstep, the judge's chatty cook watches over her. Meanwhile, his son Biju jumps from one New York restaurant job to another, trying to stay a step ahead of the INS, all the while considering his country's place in the world. When a Nepalese insurgency in the mountains sends Sai's and the judge's lives into chaos, they, too, are forced to confront their colliding interests.
Jozef Pronek is a young man from Sarajevo who visits the United States in 1992, just in time to watch war break out at home on TV. Stranded in the relative comfort of Chicago, he proves himself a charming and frankly perceptive participant in American life. An accidental urban nomad, Pronek's story is not a simple series of global adventures. As reported by an unseen observer, Pronek's visit culminates in a final episode that upends many of our assumptions about his identity, while illustrating precisely what it means to be a Nowhere Man.
Jack Diaz is a maverick American relief worker deep in the West African bush. When his funding is cut off, Jack refuses to leave his post, a Muslim village in the Ivory Coast where Christians and Muslims are squaring off for war. Against a backdrop of bloody conflict and vibrant African life, Jack and his village guardian, Mamadou, learn that hate knows no color and that true heroism waits for us where we least expect it.
In the Country of Men
Nine-year-old Suleiman is a resident of Qaddafi's Libya in the late 1970s. When the Revolutionary Committee wants to interrogate his father, the father goes into hiding, his mother's behavior becomes unstable, his neighbor is abducted, and a stranger begins watching their house. Such instability affects Suleiman in disturbing ways, and he finds himself capable of a shocking level of cruelty and betrayal. In the Country of Men captures the overwhelming feelings of a lonely, vulnerable child, yet is filled with a rare vision of a troubled time and country.
05-08-2007 06:11 AM
05-08-2007 06:19 AM
I read Exile and it was excellent. Well worth the read. I couldn't put it down.
that one will go into my Wolfe reading project then = reading all "wolf" related print from V. Woolf to T. Wolfe, writers, charactres etc .
Dya see the mandala-geometry in his face?
05-08-2007 01:00 PM - edited 05-08-2007 01:00 PM
This sure sounds interesting, and in an alternate universe, could have been Erica and Changez.
It got a terrific review in the NY Times today (see link):
Message Edited by PaulH on 05-08-200701:02 PM