3 Books by Pakistani Authors that Feel Like a Warm Hug in Winters
Sometimes the best companion to pass the time is a lengthy book with a large cast of characters and a difficult-to-leave inner universe. While other times, a wholesome or upbeat book is a pleasant diversion from the gloomy outside conditions.
Talking about the winter books, there are two possible situations that come to mind. Either the books that are set in winter or the story books that have the tendency to keep you cozy and provide warmth. There is a third picture as well, one that is mysterious, lonely, and possibly frightening.
No matter which category you belong to, here are five book recommendations that are a mix of all three to suit your taste, anyway.
The story of Hiroko Tanaka, a young Japanese woman, is told by Shamsie in an extremely heart wrenching way in her book. Hiroko travels through several countries and civilizations. Three burns in the shape of birds can be seen on her back at the beginning of the story, serving as a stark reminder of the world she has lost.
From there, the intertwined histories of the Weiss, Burton, and Ashraf families, spanning several generations, are gradually revealed. Hiroko, a Hibakusha (Japanese for survivor) of the 1945 Nagasaki bombing, visits India to see Elizabeth Burton, the sister of her late fiancé Konrad Weiss.
The sixth book by Kamila Shamsie is also her most ambitious to date. However, despite its broad breadth, the story has an intimacy to it. It takes place between 1945 and the present, as the characters travel to various parts of the world. The narrative has addressed issues of nationality, colonialism, discrimination, and the reasons behind terrorism. But Hiroko and her family provide a distinctly personal, intimate thread that runs throughout the entire novel. These are really genuine folks who are enduring difficult circumstances.
Characters in the book are fully developed, with all of their quirks and qualities displayed. Although there is a sense of historical time, Burnt Shadows reads more like a sophisticated and expertly written current novel, despite the author’s imaginative blending of them into the historical backdrop as the individual lives unfold down the decades.
One of my favorites quotes from the book is:
“So many things you promise yourself you won’t get used to, and then you do.”
Naveed is known for her approach towards love and companionship. She believes in the power of love. Her work includes Undying Affinity, The World Between Us, and a lot of others. But this one tops the list due to a number of reasons.
It’s a lovely love story. Mehar and Sarmad’s romantic relationship is softly and exquisitely shown as it develops. I adored how well the book captured Pakistani culture, including the bond between parents and children, the food, the attire, the music, the stunning weddings, and the beauty of the natural world. Numerous times in the book, the Urdu translation of an English sentence attempted to jump off the page, like in the phrases “There’s noor on your face” and “There were old memories attached to her presence.” The essence of these sentences becomes more profound if you translate them into Urdu. The novel ends with a big surprise that I didn’t see coming, followed by some intriguing disclosures in the book.
I won’t give any details on the conclusion because I’m not even sure if they’re joyful or sad. So, you ought to read and learn for yourself.
Tehmina Durrani, who was raised in the privileged environment of Lahore high society and received her education at the same institution as Benazir Bhutto, was born into one of Pakistan’s most prominent families.
She was expected, like all other women of her status, to wed a wealthy Muslim, have a large family, and live a sheltered life of air-conditioned ease. She continued to mingle in the best circles after marrying Mustafa Khar, one of Pakistan’s most prominent political heavyweights. She also learnt how to maintain the public façade of a stylish, well-educated wife and mother of four kids.
The fairy tale romance, however, quickly soured when they were alone. Mustafa Khar developed an extreme level of jealousy and possessiveness, and he was able to isolate his wife from the outside world. She endured her 14-year marriage’s suffering in quiet and solitude. Tehmina’s rebellion in the book against an unfortunate marriage is the subject of this tale.
She paid a steep price for wanting a divorce as a Muslim lady. She signed away all financial support, lost child custody, became estranged from her friends, and experienced parental disapproval. She endured her 14-year marriage’s suffering in quiet and solitude. She self-published the book at first as Pakistani publishers declined to do so, because it upset the country’s society. She had been able to successfully combine her strong commitment to women’s rights with her faith in Islam.
She sheds light on the political, governmental, and feudal lord classes in this autobiography book and described schizophrenia as an appearance of perfection that is more important than true feelings while discussing the artificiality of the elite class.
As a woman, a lot of us face so many situations that are products of patriarchy. If you think you are also one of them, with a motivation to make things better not just for you but all women of this society, then definitely give this book a read.
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So, fetch yourself a cup of coffee, snuggle in your blanket, and grab one of the above recommended books and experience life through the glasses of these characters.