Bilal Tanweer’s debut novel is an ode to a city

Zara Khadeeja Majoka in The Friday Times:

ScreenHunter_459 Dec. 14 12.55How do you make sense of a city? And not just any city, but a city that seems to have burst through the seams of comprehension, a city that roars, rumbles and rages, a city that foams at the mouth and spits out madness and blood, joy and horror, hope and grief. In his debut novel The Scatter Here Is Too Great, Bilal Tanweer understands that the dense, disordered intaglio of such a city cannot be embraced in a single frame of understanding and so he puts his fingers on the pulse of Karachi’s great, heaving heart and relays its chaotic palpitations frame by frame.

There is a bomb blast at Cantt Station and rippling out of it is this novel narrated in a myriad of voices: the brother of a shell-shocked ambulance driver, a child with protruding teeth, a car-snatching thug, a writer, a horny teenager, a middle aged entrepreneur writing a book to win his son back, a child who thrives on stories from his elder sister, a young cartoonist. All of these interconnected characters come on stage to give us their stories and the resonance of their multiple voices reveals a faint light of reason amidst unreason, excavates new forms of congruence amidst incongruity.

More here.