Salt and Saffron: Book summary and reviews of Salt and Saffron by Kamila Shamsie

Salt and Saffron

By Kamila Shamsie

Salt and Saffron
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  • Published in USA  Sep 2000,
    248 pages.

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Book Summary

A beautiful novel detailing the life and loves of a Pakistani girl living in the U.S.

Aliya may not have inherited her family's patrician looks, but she is as much a prey to the legends of her family that stretch back to the days of Timur Lang. Aristocratic and eccentric-the clan has plenty of stories to tell, and secrets to hide.

Like salt and saffron, which both flavor food but in slightly different ways, it is the small, subtle differences that cause the most trouble in Aliya's family. The family problems and scandals caused by these minute differences echo the history of the sub-continent and the story of Partition.

A superb storyteller, Kamila Shamsie writes with warmth and gusto. Through the many anecdotes about Pakistani family life, she hints at the larger tale of a divided nation. Spanning the subcontinent from the Muslim invasions to the Partition, this is a magical novel about the shapes stories can take- turning into myths, appearing in history books and entering into our lives.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Clever, witty and inventive, this engaging novel tackles the challenges of reconciling one culture's progressive values with another's allegiance to family and tradition." - Publishers Weekly

"Saffron is a luxury, but salt is a necessity, Aliya learns in this charming, witty exploration of class values." - Library Journal

"The utterly sensuous descriptions of food and tea are alone worth the price of admission." - Booklist

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Rated 2 of 5 of 5 by Allauddin
darde dil ki kahani nhi samaj ani
To understand the history of human civilization is easier than to keep up with the incomprehensible pedigree of Darde Dil Family, which is extremely taxing. It seems that Kamila Shamsie wanted to teach family alliances with a complex and complicated linage of the Darde Dil Family.

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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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