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Mueenuddin, a Yale Law graduate, is a farmer by profession. The short stories, set primarily in rural Punjab, provided a glimpse into life away from the big cities, on farmlands where landowners held sway, and sex was used as a means of influence.

But why is it important to read fiction from Pakistan to understand the country? While books will sell on their own merit, there is an urgent need to make sense of the country and the region as a whole.

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Deadly Embrace: Pakistan, America and the Future of Global Jihad

Foreign correspondents parachute in and out of the country, and are largely limited to the cities, but authors with varied and rich backgrounds have tried to portray life drawn from their own experiences. However, the release of fiction books from Pakistan has often been termed as a remarkable event at a time when the country is grappling with militancy. Aysha Raja, a bookseller and publicist based in Lahore, says that in the past few years, the foreign press has viewed fiction from Pakistan through a geopolitical lens.

There is some evidence to suggest that readers, at least in Pakistan, are becoming increasingly weary of this theme.

Farooqi published his first novel The Story of a Widow , after the success of his translations of two epic tales: The Adventures of Amir Hamza and Hoshruba. His latest novel Between Clay and Dust is a tale of wrestlers and courtesans set in Lahore, once a prominent city in the Mughal empire that is considered the cultural capital of Pakistan.

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The novel was shortlisted for the Man Asian Prize in January this year. Farooqi says the shortlisting has spurred interest in the book from American publishers He is currently working on two books. The other one is about a group of book lovers spread across the globe who join forces to revive a beloved institution.

In , Jamil Ahmad, a retired government official, released his debut novel The Wandering Falcon , which he actually wrote when he was serving in the s but was released when he was over the age of In the last month, both Karachi and Lahore have played host to literature festivals, with authors attending from the U. With these releases, one hopes that more aspiring writers will emerge and open up a dialogue without the shadow of Pakistani politics or terrorism hanging over it.


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