Uzma Aslam Khan Trespassing: A Novel

ISBN 13: 9780805075748

Trespassing: A Novel

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9780805075748: Trespassing: A Novel
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A dazzling first novel of two lovers' struggle for freedom and passion in a city riven by turmoil

Back in Karachi for his father's funeral, Daanish, a Pakistani student changed by his years at an American university, is entranced by the gazelle-eyed girl in the traditional dupatta who appears one day at the house of mourning. But the dupatta is deceptive: Dia is the modern daughter of a mother who, as the owner of a silk farm and factory, has achieved a degree of freedom rare among Pakistani women. It will take a handful of silkworms, fattened on mulberry leaves, to bring Daanish and Dia together. But their union will forever rupture the peace of two households and three families, destroying a stable present built on the repression of a bloody past.

In this sweeping novel of modern Pakistan, Uzma Aslam Khan takes us deep into a world of radical contrasts, from the stifling demands of tradition and family to the daily oppression of routine political violence, from the gorgeous sensual vistas of the silk farms to the teeming streets of Karachi-stinking, crumbling, and corrupt.

At once delicate and passionate, Trespassing introduces a new and powerful voice from a land we know too little about.

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About the Author:

Uzma Aslam Khan grew up in Karachi, Pakistan, and has lived in New York and Arizona. She currently lives in Lahore with her husband. Trespassing, her first novel to be published in the U.S., will appear in eleven languages.

From Publishers Weekly:

Khan limns the conflicts between modern Western and traditional Pakistani mores in an intelligent, ambitious novel (her first to be published in the U.S.) about two star-crossed young lovers in contemporary Karachi. Daanish, a journalism student in "Amreeka," as his aunt calls it, returns home to Karachi for the funeral of his beloved father, a prominent, forward-thinking doctor. He catches the eye of a comely Karachi student, Nini, with whom his traditional mother would like him to make an advantageous marriage. But when Daanish meets Nini's best friend, the thoughtful and challenging Dia Monsour, who helps run her family's silk farm, romance blossoms quickly. Their families' disapproval casts a pall over their meetings, though, and Daanish begins to feel uncertain about seeing Dia as the date for his return to America draws closer. Khan's portrayal of life in Karachi, seen from multiple perspectives, is rich and complex, and her supporting characters, such as Salaamat, a young fisherboy who becomes a driver for a group of freedom fighters whose attacks have a deadly impact on Dia's family, add great depth. Khan's frequent flashbacks can be jarring, and the affair between Dia and Daanish is stretched perilously thin as the primary story line, but Khan's prose, ornate yet precise in its discussions of both love and politics, mark her as a truly gifted observer of moments grand and minute.
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