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Pakistani authors on the rise

By / February 17, 2009



Last year a trio of books by Pakistani authors made a splash in English-speaking world: "The Reluctant Fundamentalist" by Mohsin Hamid (shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize), "A Case of Exploding Mangoes" by Mohammad Hanif, and "The Wasted Vigil" by Nadeem Aslam.

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This year interest in Pakistani writers seems likely to increase.

"Pakistani writing is like the new young fast bowler on the scene," Pakistani novelist Kamila Shamsie told the Guardian.

"While India has produced Rushdie, Vikram Seth and Arundhati Roy, Pakistanis writing in English made little impact in the past," notes Guardian correspondent Saeed Shah. "But at a recent literary festival in the Indian city of Jaipur, it was the Pakistani writers there, such as [Daniyal] Mueenuddin, who impressed the audience and the Indian media, despite the presence of huge names like Seth."

Two books to watch for (due for release within the next few weeks), says Shah, are Kamila Shamsie's fifth novel (and "reputedly finest") novel, "Burnt Shadows," and a collection of short stories by Mueenuddin (who has was "compared with Chekhov when some of the tales were previously published in the New Yorker.")

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