I was delighted to find out that Before She Sleeps is shortlisted for the Getz Fiction Prize being awarded at the inaugural Adab Festival on February 1, along with Mohammed Hanif’s Red Birds, Kamila Shamsie’s Home Fire, and Zarrar Said’s Pureland. That’s some illustrious competition!
It made me think about Pakistani writing in English, which I think now has been around long enough to be characterized in this way:
Pakistani writing doesn’t always have the technical excellence or the meticulous attention to craft that you will find in British or American novels. But what it does have is an exuberance and energy that isn’t always contained in the novel form. That’s why our books seem to burst at the seams with irrepressible characters, beyond-belief plots, and big bold vision. There’s always a laugh hiding behind the pathos, and tears close to the surface behind the slapstick. Our writing captures Pakistani life and Pakistani attitude in all its messy glory and ugly truth.