In the City by the Sea: Book summary and reviews of In the City by the Sea by Kamila Shamsie

In the City by the Sea

By Kamila Shamsie

In the City by the Sea
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  • Published in USA  Jan 1998,
    213 pages.

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Book Summary

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 oppresive 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.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Lively, playful, provocative." - Anita Desai

"A touching and engrossing story an assured debut." - The Times

"A colourful and peripatetic view of politics in Pakistan an interesting and promising novel" - The Guardian

"Full of fun, longing and wit a debut of spirit and imagination, loaded with intelligent charm" - The Scotsman, Ali Smith

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Rated 4 of 5 of 5 by Devang Rangani
My Review
The novel is an excellent example so far the portrayal of child psychology is concerned. Kamila through her power language and imagination draw the beautiful picture of societal issues of a place where there is military regime. It shows the condition of our brothers of Kashmir and other frontier villages where WE: THE PEOPLE and our lives are just like the puppet of the militants. I feel that the way the novelist represents the Psychology of an adult, there are many obvious opportunities to explore the psychological condition of adult. Scholars who are interested in comparative study may like compare the depiction Adult psychology of Kamila with R.K.Narayan or Ruskin Bond.

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Author Information

Kamila Shamsie Author Biography

Kamila Shamsie was born in 1973 in Pakistan. Her first novel, In the City by the Sea, was shortlisted for the Mail on Sunday/John Llewellyn Rhys Prize, and her second, Salt and Saffron, won her a place on Orange's list of '21 Writers for the 21st Century'. In 1999 Kamila received the Prime Minister's Award for Literature in Pakistan. She has a BA in Creative Writing from Hamilton College in Clinton New York, where she has also taught Creative Writing, and a MFA from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She also writes for The Guardian, The New Statesman, Index on Censorship and Prospect magazine, and broadcasts on radio.  Kartography (2004), explores the strained relationship between soulmates Karim and Raheen, set against a backdrop ...

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