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Among Muslims: Meetings at the Frontiers of Pakistan [Paperback]

Kathleen Jamie
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
Price: £6.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Book Description

30 May 2002
Among Muslims is the account of Kathleen Jamie's time travelling alone and living among the Shia and Ismaeli Muslims in the Northern Areas - the part of the former state of Kashmir now administered by Pakistan and one of the most volatile borderlands in the world. Yet there was much that seemed oddly familiar: staying with women in Purdah reminded Jamie of her own family past; the intense religious ceremonies brought back memories of Orangemen marching through Glasgow. This is a superbly written, entertaining and important book: a narrative of people and local life, that crosses Western and Islamic cultures. Originally published as The Golden Peak, Jamie returned to Pakistan to write an Afterword and Preface for this new edition.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Sort Of Books; New Ed edition (30 May 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0953522776
  • ISBN-13: 978-0953522774
  • Product Dimensions: 19.2 x 12.8 x 2.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 216,389 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


" . . . a wonderfully sensual study of the land and its people which feels more topical than timeless." -- Observer 16th June 2002

"A better emissary to the Karakoram could not be imagined. She displays a deep warmth unemcumbered by illusion." -- Scotland on Sunday 19th May 2002

"The power of her prose is spare but magical . . . this should be required reading." (Daily Telegraph) -- Daily Telegraph 18th May 2002

"This eloquent tale with its plea for understanding and tolerance couldn't have been better timed." -- Sunday Times. Book of the Week 9th June 2002

About the Author

Kathleen Jamie studied philosophy at Edinburgh University. She won an Eric Gregory Award at nineteen and has published four volumes of poetry.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lyrical, sparse and more relevant than ever 26 Aug 2002
By A Customer
Most of Among Muslims was first published nearly 10 years ago as an account of Jamie's time travelling in the northern areas of Pakistan. Following the events of Septemeber 11 she has revisted some of the places and people from her first travels.
The book opens with the story of some Pakistani men visiting the small Fife town where she lives on a peace walk. I found the description of the men and their mission extremely moving. In all of the book the writing is wonderful, as you would expect from a poet - Jamie does not overload with detail yet conjures up the sights and sounds (and feelings, smells, bumpiness etc) with ease. But this is not simply a travelogue. As the last section in particular illustrates, it poses questions about the nature of freedom (and in particular, the freedom of women), society, tourism and its impact and the future development of such regions. The contrast of the treatment that Jamie (mostly) received in Pakistan compared with the reaction of her small town to the peace march is also startling.
In all a wonderfull read which manages to pose the reader some big questions without detracting from the lightless and delf touch of the descriptions.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating and unusual 21 Feb 2009
This reminds me of the travel books my parents used to read when I was very young. KJ travelled to really out-of-the-way regions of Pakistan and lived among the people. While seeing things from the viewpoint of a modern and educated western woman, she tries to understand them from the physical, economic and cultural situation of the people themselves. Her poetic language creates strange and beautiful pictures of life and the odd touch of humour too. The strong bonds of friendship she forms with several of the people she meets shows us that there need not be barriers between us, no matter the differences in culture and climate.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Profound and mesmerising 7 April 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I'm not sure how I managed to miss Kathleen Jamie, I only discovered her last year. Since then I have read everything she has in print. I cannot praise her highly enough, her prose is lyrical, mesmerising and touches you at a very deep level. This particular story is so important as a rebuke to the easy racism and stigmatisation of both Muslim and Scottish people that it should be made widely available in schools, colleges, and anywhere people feel fit to pontificate on matters they know little about. She is a truly great writer - one whose words linger long after the book is back on the shelf (or in my case has been lent to other people to read).
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17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Read about real people in Pakistan 18 Aug 2003
The bok starts with several Afghani men sitting in the local high street. What do they want? Why are they here? Are they ... terrorists? No one wants to talk to them, but Kathleen Jamie. She invites them around for tea. They say they are on a peace march to promote inter cultural understanding, which they started in the summer of 2001. Now they feel the hostility arising from post 11th september Britain.
Kathleen knows she has to be a good host and offer everything she can to make them comfortable. After all, she remembers her travels in Pakistan, where taking care of your guest is paramount. She recalls her encounters there, with every day lives passing by. She does not attempt to romanticise their difficult lives with all the hardships of rural agricultural society, but she remains sympathetic and open.
The book can become a little verbose, with Jamie blathering on about the local landscape, but many of the stories here are touching and very human. She makes a real effort to treat the people of that other land as human beings, no more and no less. It is delightful how she visits the same family several times over a decade, to see how their lives have changed. Definitely recommended.
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