Daily Archives: June 28, 2009

Ali Sethi’s “Wish Maker”

The debut of a major new international literary talent is a rare and heartening event. THE WISH MAKER (Riverhead Books; Publication Date: June 11, 2009; ISBN: 978-1-59448-875-7; Price: $25.95), the first novel by twenty-four-year-old Ali Sethi, combines classic storytelling instincts, an eye-opening portrait of a suddenly important nation that Americans are intensely curious about, and a remarkable back story. THE WISH MAKER has already been highlighted in USA Today’s “Book Buzz” column and foreign rights have been sold in six countries to date. At once a fresh and affecting coming-of-age story, a riveting family saga, and a hip, witty social commentary, Sethi’s novel vividly evokes the pungent texture of daily life in his native Pakistan, particularly for women, as well as his country’s roiling social and political currents. Continue reading

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A Postmodern Wedding

By Zia Ahmad

 “Hope is a dangerous word” – just like any other pearl of wisdom that I am only too eager to pass on to the next available ear, this too has been derived from the ever-wise and reflective dream factory that is Hollywood. Do we ever pause to consider how drastically films have affected our humdrum lives, and how in moments of joy and sorrow some of us look up to movies as templates that our real-life actions and words should subscribe by?  No other art form in human history has provided us with as many pertinent points of comparison in our lives as films (or for that matter TV shows) have. Continue reading

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Reform or Perish

By Raza Rumi

On the face of it, the Pakistani state with the clear endorsement of political parties and the majority of its citizenry is fighting a battle against militant Islamism. However, it is not as simple a formulation as it appears to be. The state is also cracking under extreme pressure for having lost its capacities and effectiveness a long time ago. The central tenet of state policy and implementation is adhocism that keeps a mammoth, oversized, under-paid and snail-paced elephant going. With Mughal and pre-industrial social structures reflecting in a colonial organisation, the Pakistani state is an unattended patient lying on an Elliotesque table, waiting for a surgery. Continue reading

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