Beyond the Book: Background information when reading Burnt Shadows

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Burnt Shadows

A Novel

by Kamila Shamsie

Burnt Shadows by Kamila Shamsie X
Burnt Shadows by Kamila Shamsie
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • Paperback:
    Apr 2009, 384 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
BookBrowse First Impression Reviewers

Buy This Book

About this Book

Beyond the Book

Print Review

Five Notable Pakistani Authors
While Indian authors have been the darlings of the literary world for the past couple of decades, Pakistani novelists writing in English have remained in the shadows -- but no longer. Even as their country sinks into violence, a growing number of novelists are winning acclaim around the world. Here are five Pakistani authors to watch out for:

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.  Her third novel, Kartography, was published in 2004, followed by Broken Verses in 2005. Burnt Shadows was published in the UK in 2008 and last month in the USA. She lives in London and Karachi.

Mohsin Hamid grew up in Lahore, Pakistan, and attended Princeton and Harvard. His first novel, Moth Smoke (2001), was a Betty Trask Award winner, PEN/Hemingway Award finalist, and a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. His second novel, The Reluctant Fundamentalist, was published in 2007. It was a nominee for the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, and for the Booker Prize. His writing has also appeared in Time, The New York Times, and other publications. He lives in London.

Daniyal Mueenuddin, whose fiction has appeared in The New Yorker, Zoetrope, and elsewhere, spent his early childhood in Pakistan and then lived in the United States. After graduating from Dartmouth College, he returned to Pakistan and lived there for seven years on his father's farm in southern Punjab. Although he didn't begin writing fiction until much later, his experiences during those years on the farm form the basis of his short stories, published as In Other Rooms, Other Wonders in February 2009.  He and his wife live on and manage a farm in Khanpur, Pakistan.

Nadeem Aslam was born in 1966 in Gujranwala, Pakistan. His first short story was published in Urdu in a Pakistani newspaper when he was 13 years old. He came to Britain at the age of 14 when his communist father (a former poet and film director, now garbage collector and factory worker) fled President Zia's regime and settled the family in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire. He went to Manchester University to read biochemistry but left in his third year to become a writer.  He is the author of Season of the Rainbirds (1993), Maps For Lost Lovers (2005)  and The Wasted Vigil (2008). Although culturally a Muslim, he describes himself as a non-believer and, due to money constraints, has not been back to Pakistan since leaving as a child. He currently lives in north London.

Mohammed Hanif was born in Okara, Pakistan. After leaving the Pakistani Air Force Academy to pursue a career in journalism, he worked for Newsline, India Today, and The Washington Post. He has written plays for the stage and screen, including a critically acclaimed BBC drama and The Long Night (2002), Pakistan's first digital feature film. Hanif is a graduate of the University of East Anglia's creative writing programme. His first novel, A Case of Exploding Mangoes, was published in 2008.  It was longlisted for the Booker Prize, and shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award and the Commonwealth Writers' Prize in the Best First Book category. He is currently head of the BBC's Urdu Service and lives in London.

This article is from the May 6, 2009 issue of BookBrowse Recommends. Click here to go to this issue.

This article is available to non-members for a limited time. You can also read these articles for free. For full access become a member today.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten!

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Last Ballad
    The Last Ballad
    by Wiley Cash
    Ella May WigginsA hundred years ago or so, farming land west of Charlotte, North Carolina was given over to giant ...
  • Book Jacket: Future Home of the Living God
    Future Home of the Living God
    by Louise Erdrich
    Louise Erdrich began Future Home of the Living God in 2002, set it aside, and picked it up again in ...
  • Book Jacket: The Last Mrs. Parrish
    The Last Mrs. Parrish
    by Liv Constantine
    Amber has lived in poverty all her life, and she has had enough. Of course, wishing to have money ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The Second Mrs. Hockaday by Susan Rivers

At once a love story, a history lesson and a beautifully written tale of forgiveness.

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Wonder Valley
    by Ivy Pochoda

    A visionary and masterful portrait of contemporary L.A. from the author of Visitation Street.
    Reader Reviews

Who Said...

You can lead a man to Congress, but you can't make him think.

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Word Play

Solve this clue:

E Dog H I D

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.