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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thought provoking insight into troubled country
Pakistan is a rich source for this collection, being as it is a cauldron of culture, history, religion, politics and beliefs. There is a striking difference here between the beauty of some of the fiction and the brutality of the non-fiction pieces.

This edition of Granta kicks off with a cracking piece of short fiction from Nadeem Aslam about the tragedy of a...
Published on 28 Oct 2010 by Ripple

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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars High Noon
Pakistan - how knowable, how understandable can a few articles, a few art installations, a few pieces of fiction make it? To the white western world it is impenetrable, other, alien. An understanding balances on some strange fretwork in this issue of Granta: the closest I can personally come to Pakistan is through it's art. But doesn't that art in itself balance on a...
Published on 28 Jan 2011 by Eileen Shaw


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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thought provoking insight into troubled country, 28 Oct 2010
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Ripple (uk) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Granta 112: Issue 112: Pakistan (Granta: The Magazine of New Writing) (Paperback)
Pakistan is a rich source for this collection, being as it is a cauldron of culture, history, religion, politics and beliefs. There is a striking difference here between the beauty of some of the fiction and the brutality of the non-fiction pieces.

This edition of Granta kicks off with a cracking piece of short fiction from Nadeem Aslam about the tragedy of a young Muslim girl who is fated to only produce female heirs for her rich husband. It's shocking, moving and beautiful. Initially, Uzma Aslam Kahn's Ice Mating story didn't grab me, but as it switched between California and Pakistan, it unfolded to another interesting piece. Mohammed Hanif's shocking story of how not to woo a young nurse is both funny and sad. There are shocking moments of brutality in the non-fiction too - not least the short piece by Mohsin Hamid - A Beheading. More ancient tribal brutality is evident to Western eyes at least in Jamil Ahmad's The Sins of the Mother.

Jane Perlez presents a brief but thoughtful piece on the intentions of Pakistan-founder Jinnah and wonders what he would have made of the ongoing Islamist movement that there is little evidence that he intended for the country. Basharat Peer's piece on the problems in Kashmir is also deeply moving, particularly emphasising the impact is has had on the youth that have never known any different. Intizar Hussain's short piece entitled The House of Gallows is enlightening while Declan Walsh, borrowing his title from Kippling, in Arithmetic on the Frontier explores the threat of the Taliban in the Northern frontier. Physical distance clearly helps analysis as there is equally insightful contribution from London-based Kamila Shamsie in Pop Idol.

Of course it's hardly news that most if not all of Pakistan's problems stem from initially British imperialism attempting to create unity amongst disparate tribes, exacerbated by unforseen side effects of Western and particularly US foreign policy, not least of which the support of the Afghani resistance to the Russian invasion and the support of fundamental Islamist military power in the form of General Zia ul-Haq. What is equally clear though is that understanding the causes do little to identify the solution. There's a stark reminder of the impact of this on the West in Lorraine Adams' investigation of The Trials of Faisal Shahzad.

There's poetry from, amongst others, Daniyal Mueenuddin although given the quality of his superb collection of short stories, In Other Rooms, Other Wonders, I was sorry not to see a short story from this highly talented writer. On the other hand, it is a reflection of the quality of writing that is coming out of this troubled country. Instead of Granta's traditional photographs, the edition is illustrated with sometimes interesting Pakistani art, much of it modern.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Near East, 17 Dec 2010
By 
D. Milton "Reader" (Julian, CA USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Granta 112: Issue 112: Pakistan (Granta: The Magazine of New Writing) (Paperback)
I am fascinated by the cultures of Pakistan, Afghanistan and India. The more I read the authors who live there and the westerners who have lived there, the better my understanding is of these faraway and mysterious, to us, people. As I read I am sure that all people of the world share a lot, love of family, need for respect and other necessities. However I also see that their are great differences, some obvious and others deeply rooted in the culture. This issue of Granta helped me gain in my knowledge and respect for them.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Highly Recommended, 18 Mar 2013
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This review is from: Granta 112: Issue 112: Pakistan (Granta: The Magazine of New Writing) (Paperback)
Granta's issue on Pakistan features all the major contemporary writers coming from Pakistan and others who have been based in Pakistan. These short stories, essays, poems are fantastic reads - I finished the book in one day. Definitely worth reading.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Engrossing, 1 Sep 2011
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This review is from: Granta 112: Issue 112: Pakistan (Granta: The Magazine of New Writing) (Paperback)
This edition of Granta is thought provoking and does encompass a wide range of perspectives.

The writing is excellent and in particular the essay on collective identity and Jinnah is superb.

The complex nature of contemporary Pakistan is reflected in these essays.

Worth an investment of four or five hours of your time.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Granta 112, 23 Sep 2010
This review is from: Granta 112: Issue 112: Pakistan (Granta: The Magazine of New Writing) (Paperback)
"I just wanted to tell you that I am reading 112 and I haven't been able to put it down for a minute I have alternated between despair, sadnessand resonance of the memories I have of Pakistan. Thank you to Granta to have put this together along with the series of events."
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 3 Aug 2014
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I've never dipped into a "Granta" I didn't enjoy.
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars High Noon, 28 Jan 2011
By 
Eileen Shaw "Kokoschka's_cat" (Leeds, England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Granta 112: Issue 112: Pakistan (Granta: The Magazine of New Writing) (Paperback)
Pakistan - how knowable, how understandable can a few articles, a few art installations, a few pieces of fiction make it? To the white western world it is impenetrable, other, alien. An understanding balances on some strange fretwork in this issue of Granta: the closest I can personally come to Pakistan is through it's art. But doesn't that art in itself balance on a fretwork of impenetrability? In his foreword to the artwork High Noon, Hari Kunzru falls with something like relief on a series of photographs by Imran Qureshi. Quite simply beautiful, it might stand for the competing morass around it as something to aim for - peace, beauty, the shadows of the sun on a peaceful image.

The issue opens with a cruel, degrading short story of Pakistan as it was in the past, as many who live there would still want it to be. There is little here that would endear some of Pakistan's implacable traditions (rejection/murder of female children, absolute control over women, implacable hostility to female emancipation) to anyone in the west, including those who live here in Britain, or in America and other western or westernised countries.

The Trials of Faisal Shahzad tells the story of a naturalised American, born in Pakistan, who drove an SUV loaded with explosive devices to the corner of 45th Street and Seventh Avenue in Times Square, New York. He began the detonation process and took a train back to his apartment. The article, by Lorraine Adams with Ayesha Nasir, tells us that he made a fundamental mistake. Not realising the detonator was set to react to military timing he set it for 7oclock. For it to go off before discovery it should have been set for 1900 hrs. If he had understood what he was doing he might have murdered tens, perhaps hundreds of people.

Is it the worst kind of truism, I wonder, that the prevailing cultures of east and west push against and struggle with one another, and seem further than ever from coming to some kind of shared understanding of the world?
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