Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Pakistan's Fast Bowlers

Shashi Tharoor writing in The Times of India (found via The Complete Review) finds that although Pakistani Fiction in English got off to a slow start :
... the Pakistani diaspora has in recent years produced a remarkable series of novels with affinities to Pakistan and with narratives often set there ...
among them Mohsin Hamid :
... whose two novels Moth Smoke and The Reluctant Fundamentalist notably finally woke up the rest of the world to Pakistani fiction in English.
and several younger writers including Nadeem Aslam (right) (Maps for Lost Lovers). Tharoor mentions too the debut of two remarkable novels - Mohammed Hanif's :
... exuberant and risk-taking A Case of Exploding Mangoes
and Ali Sethi whose :
... about-to-be-published novel, set in Lahore, is the story of a fatherless Pakistani boy rose in a family of outspoken women, and has already received a gigantic advance. Even India hasn't yet produced a 23-year-old world-class author. The future of Pakistani writing in English seems not just secure, but exciting.
Mohsin Hamid (left) has apparently identified an interesting phenomena which he calls the "fast-bowler effect", which is something we're also experiencing here in Malaysia :
... one writer, like one fast bowler in a cricket team, finds it difficult to make an impact, but when there is at least a pair of them, the world suddenly starts taking the team seriously.
(Image at top by Hamzah Shah on Flickr.)


katztales said...

Totally forgot about sat. sorry! spent the day in bed with the cats and a book. catch you next time...

Eric Forbes said...

The debut novelist is not Najam Sethi but his son Ali Sethi whose novel of growing up in his native Lahore will be published by Hamish Hamilton in the U.K and Riverhead in the U.S.

Anonymous said...

"Even India hasn't yet produced a 23-year-old world-class author."

Apparently India is at the forefront when it comes to producing world-class authors.


Anonymous said...

Or 23-year-old authors.


Anonymous said...

For Eric Forbes: the article very clearly names Ali Sethi as the son of Najam Sethi. Perhaps you should comment on the article rather than the blogger's partial(and inaccurate) paraphrase of it.

bibliobibuli said...

am actually grateful for the correction. i'd rather get things right if i can!

Jane Sunshine said...

I haven't read any of the new books but I think that some excellent writers have explored the Pakistani diaspora long ago. Bapsi Sidhwa is the doyen, who among others, wrote The Ice Candy Man which was made into the movie Earth by Deepa Mehta. I was lead to her book when I found out that Salman Rushdie borrowed some of her material for Midnight's Children.

Also, Sara Suleri and Kamila Shamsie deserve mention.