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A profound novel about friendship. I loved it to pieces MADELINE MILLER A shining tour de force ALI SMITH, Guardian Summer Reading CHOSEN AS A BOOK OF 2022 BY THE GUARDIAN, OBSERVER, DAILY MAIL AND FINANCIAL TIMES A dazzling new novel of friendship, identity and the unknowability of other people – from the international bestselling author of Home Fire, winner of the Women s Prize for Fiction Sometimes it was as though the forty years of friendship between them was just a lesson in the unknowability of other people. Maryam and Zahra. In 1988 Karachi, two fourteen-year-old girls are a decade into their friendship, sharing in-jokes, secrets and a love for George Michael. As Pakistan s dictatorship falls and a woman comes to power, the world suddenly seems full of possibilities. Elated by the change in the air, they make a snap decision at a party. That night, everything goes wrong, and the two girls are powerless to change the outcome. Zahra and Maryam. In present-day London, two influential women remain bound together by loyalties, disloyalties, and the memory of that night, which echoes through the present in unexpected ways. Now both have power; and both have very different ideas of how to wield it. Their friendship has always felt unbreakable; can it be undone by one decision? A new Kamila Shamsie novel is always worth celebrating, but Best of Friends is something else: an epic story that explores the ties of childhood friendship, the possibility of escape, the way the political world intrudes into the personal, all through the lens of two sharply drawn protagonists Observer, Books of the Year 2022
The Dard-e-Dils are characterised by their prominent clavicles and love of stories. Aliya may not have inherited her family’s patrician looks, but she is prey to their legends that stretch back to the days of Timur Lang. There is a sting to most of these tales, for the Dard-e-Dils consider themselves cursed by their ‘not-quite’ twins. Amidst her growing attraction to a boy from the wrong side of the tracks, Aliya begins to believe that she is another ‘not-quite’ twin, linked to her scandalous aunt Mariam in a way that hardly bodes well.
‘Full of fun, longing and wit ? a debut of spirit and imagination, loaded with intelligent charm’ – Ali Smith
‘A touching and engrossing story ? an assured debut’ – The Times
‘A colourful and peripatetic view of politics in Pakistan ? an interesting and promising novel’ – Guardian
BY THE ACCLAIMED WINNER OF THE WOMEN’S PRIZE FOR FICTION
SHORTLISTED FOR THE JOHN LLEWELLYN RHYS PRIZE
Hasan is eleven years old. He loves cricket, pomegranates, the night sky, his clever, vibrant artistic mother and his etymologically obsessed lawyer father, and he adores his next-door neighbour Zehra. One early summer morning, while lazing happily on the roof, Hasan watches a young boy flying a yellow kite fall to his death.
Soon after, Hasan’s idyllic, sheltered family life is shattered when his beloved uncle Salman, a dissenting politician, is arrested and charged with treason… Set in a land ruled by an oppressive military regime, this eloquent, charming and quietly political novel vividly recreates the confusing world of a young boy on the edge of adulthood, and beautifully illustrates the transformative power of the imagination.
August 9th, 1945, Nagasaki. Hiroko Tanaka steps out onto her veranda, taking in the view of the terraced slopes leading up to the sky. She is twenty-one and on the verge of marrying Konrad Weiss. In a split second, the world turns whiteIn 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, Hiroko travels to Delhi to find Konrad’s relatives and falls in love with their employee, Sajjad Ashraf. As the years unravel, new homes replace those left behind and old wars are seamlessly usurped by new conflicts. But the shadows of history – personal, political – are cast over the entwined worlds of different families as they are transported from Pakistan to New York, and in the novel’s astonishing climax, to Afghanistan in the immediate wake of 9/11.
Summer, 1914. Young Englishwoman Vivian Rose Spencer is in an ancient land, about to discover the Temple of Zeus, the call of adventure, and love. Thousands of miles away a twenty-year-old Pathan, Qayyum Gul, is learning about brotherhood and loyalty in the British Indian army. Summer, 1915. Viv has been separated from the man she loves; Qayyum has lost an eye at Ypres. They meet on a train to Peshawar, unaware that a connection is about to be forged between their lives ? one that will reveal itself fifteen years later when anti-colonial resistance, an ancient artefact and a mysterious woman will bring them together again
WINNER OF THE WOMEN’S PRIZE FOR FICTION
WINNER OF THE LONDON HELLENIC PRIZE
A BOOK OF THE YEAR IN THE GUARDIAN, OBSERVER, TELEGRAPH, NEW STATESMAN, EVENING STANDAND AND NEW YORK TIMES
The book for our times – Judges of the Women’s Prize
Elegant and evocative … A powerful exploration of the clash between society, family and faith in the modern world’ – Guardian
Builds to one of the most memorable final scenes I’ve read in a novel this century – New York Times
Isma is free. After years spent raising her twin siblings in the wake of their mother’s death, she is finally studying in America, resuming a dream long deferred. But she can’t stop worrying about Aneeka, her beautiful, headstrong sister back in London ? or their brother, Parvaiz, who’s disappeared in pursuit of his own dream: to prove himself to the dark legacy of the jihadist father he never knew.
Then Eamonn enters the sisters’ lives. Handsome and privileged, he inhabits a London worlds away from theirs. As the son of a powerful British Muslim politician, Eamonn has his own birthright to live up to ? or defy. Is he to be a chance at love? The means of Parvaiz’s salvation? Two families’ fates are inextricably, devastatingly entwined in this searing novel that asks: what sacrifices will we make in the name of love?
A contemporary reimagining of Sophocles’ Antigone, Home Fire is an urgent, fiercely compelling story of loyalties torn apart when love and politics collide ? confirming Kamila Shamsie as a master storyteller of our times.
Shortlisted for the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize By the acclaimed winner of the Women s Prize for Fiction 2018 Soul mates from birth, Karim and Raheen finish one another s sentences, speak in anagrams and lie spine to spine. They are irrevocably bound to one another and to Karachi, Pakistan. It beats in their hearts – violent, polluted, corrupt, vibrant, brave and ultimately, home. As the years go by they let a barrier of silence build between them until, finally, they are brought together during a dry summer of strikes and ethnic violence and their relationship is poised between strained friendship and fated love.
Fourteen years ago Aasmaani’s mother Samina, a blazing beauty and fearless activist, walked out of her house and was never seen again. Aasmaani refuses to believe she is dead and still dreams of her glorious return. Now grown up and living in Karachi, Aasmaani receives what could be the longed-for proof that her mother is still alive. As she comes closer to the truth she is also irresistibly drawn to Ed, her ally and sparring partner, and the only person who can understand the profound hurt – and the profound love – that drives her.