As their country descends into chaos, Pakistani writers are winning acclaim

From The Guardian:

Hitlist Pakistani novelists writing in English – long overshadowed by literary giants from neighbouring India – are now winning attention and acclaim as their country sinks into violence and chaos. Tales of religious extremism, class divides, dictators, war and love have come from writers who grew up largely in Pakistan and now move easily between London, Karachi, New York and Lahore. Since the publication of Mohsin Hamid's The Reluctant Fundamentalist two years ago, which was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, a new wave of Pakistani fiction is earning critical acclaim at home and around the world.

Last year came Mohammad Hanif's first novel, A Case of Exploding Mangoes – a dark comedy about the Islamic fundamentalist rule of General Zia ul Haq in the 1980s – and Nadeem Aslam's The Wasted Vigil, which is set in modern Afghanistan. Two keenly anticipated works are due out in the UK in the coming weeks: Kamila Shamsie's fifth, and reputedly finest, novel, Burnt Shadows, and a collection of short stories by Daniyal Mueenuddin, who was compared with Chekhov when some of the tales were previously published in the New Yorker. “Some of us have been writing for many years but suddenly we've had four or five novels coming out together and that's created a buzz,” said Shamsie, whose latest work is an ambitious story that starts off in Second World War Japan and moves to post-9/11 Afghanistan. “Indian writing has been established for 25 years or more, since Midnight's Children (Salman Rushdie's book, published in 1981). Pakistani writing is very much in its infancy.

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