Sunday, April 24, 2011

Review: The Life's too short: Literary Review 01 New Writing from Pakistan

I recently read a very interesting book called ‘The Life’s Too Short Literary Review 01: New Writing from Pakistan’. It is an anthology of Pakistani writings which is very bold, entertaining and engaging. The book has some amazing stories which will keep you hooked to the very end.

I am a huge fan of Pakistani writing and have read most of the books coming from writers across the border. But what I particularly liked about the stories here was that they are not the usual stuff that one expects or for that matter of a Pakistan one usually watches on television. Except for maybe two stories Bilal Tanveer’s To Live- a brilliant read and Aziz A Sheikh’s Six Fingered Man.

The anthology hence makes for a very refreshing read. The book also contains some excerpts; I liked Husain Iqbal’s Challawa this excerpt features the amorous adventures of a lesbian lady detective, Sabiho Bano (translated from Urdu by Mohammed Hanif) and the other excerpt from a graphic novel Rabbit Rap which I found particularly vague. A photo essay and a non-fiction piece of work called The Last Moghul of Shalimar also find a place in this anthology. Yes unusual but appealing stories that a reader will enjoy.

The other stories worth a mention here would be The Wedding by Sarwat Yasmeen Azeem and Madiha Sattar’s Ruth and Richard.

All in all if you are a fan of Pakistani writers or you would want to read something out of the ordinary and refreshing pick this book up. You won’t regret it.

The book has been edited by Faiza S Khan:

Faiza S Khan is a Karachi-based columnist and book and film critic whose work has appeared in The Friday Times, Open magazine, The Caravan, The Times of India and the Express Tribune. She founded and co-administrates the Life’s Too Short Short Story Prize.

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