Sometime back as I was browsing through my tiny library for a book, A book caught my attention and I instantly thought that I must recommend it to the readers of KMB.

“Kartography” and “salt and saffron” both the novels by Kamila Shamsie, are a wonderful work of literature, the novels celebrate not only love but also the beauty, unforgettable moments and elements of Karachi, the feelings, the smell, the love one can only find in Karachi, and the way when ever we are away from this city and a certain aroma or color brings us back to Karachi, the way we miss it’s people and the way we love it’s beaches and roads and everything we miss or love about Karachi, and how it always makes us love Karachi more then before.

Both the novels are a “must to read” for everyone who loves Karachi with all his heart and soul. These novels are published By Oxford University press here in Karachi and are available at all OUP bookshops throughout Pakistan and all over the world.

Kamila Shamsie was born in 1973 in Pakistan, and was brought up in Karachi. Her first novel ” The City By The Sea”, was published in 1998 and shortlisted for the John Llewelyn Rhys/Mail on Sunday Prize. In 1999 Kamila received The Award for Literature in Pakistan and in 2000 her second novel “Salt and saffron” to critical acclaim. In 2001 Kamila was selected as one of the Orange’s 21 Writers for the 21st Century. Kamila lives in London and Karachi.

8 Comments so far

  1. Discreet Madness (unregistered) on June 30th, 2006 @ 12:31 pm

    I agree. Both Kartography and Salt and Saffron are worth a read. Has anyone read “Broken Verses”?

  2. Anathema (unregistered) on June 30th, 2006 @ 12:34 pm

    all three are amazing. but kartography is the best ode to this city anyone can present.

  3. bublee (unregistered) on June 30th, 2006 @ 5:07 pm

    I agree Kartography is good… but the ending was such a let down.

  4. Sarah (unregistered) on June 30th, 2006 @ 9:34 pm

    I am reading BROKEN VERSES and finding it hard to get into it. Kamila’s kartography was much better and I really loved the feel for Karachi in it.

  5. Kumail (unregistered) on July 1st, 2006 @ 12:07 am

    Although I have enjoyed reading all the Kamila shamsie books yet I cant agree that she pays glorious tributes to the city. Her impression of the city is very elitist. She tells her stories from the point of view Rich kids, expat students and high profile politicos. Hers is not the story of the common man or the middle class that gives Karachi the power that it commands today.

  6. Sooban (unregistered) on July 1st, 2006 @ 1:08 am

    @ bublee
    you got the wrong name, kartography has an ending that suits it. broken verses on the other hand, in my opinion, had an ending that dint do justice to the rest of the story.

    @ kumail
    yes, a common critique against her works. but it does shw a perspective that exists in karachi, be it on the other side of the bridge. you can only tell stories best which you have seen upfront. it shows how different worlds can exist , being so close and so distant at the same time.

    and yes ,i am a very big fan of Ms. Shamsie’s works.


    oh on the topic.

    a must have book for evry karachiite.

  7. Wahidi (unregistered) on July 1st, 2006 @ 2:03 am

    i luv kartography!….

  8. GIbran (unregistered) on July 5th, 2006 @ 11:29 pm

    I just finished The Kite Runner. I have read Kartography and I liked it but the Kite Runner is a WAY better book.

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