Home Fire: WINNER OF THE WOMEN'S PRIZE FOR FICTION 2018: LONGLISTED FOR THE MAN BOOKER PRIZE 2017 Paperback – 22 Mar 2018
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Occasionally you know that one of the writers alive at the same time as you has written the book they were born to write . Home Fire has lit a light that'll never go out; Shamsie's version of Antigone reveals the ancient tragedy we're living now (Ali Smith Guardian, Books of the Year)
A modern retelling of Antigone set among a family divided by politics, love, and radicalism. In fewer than 300 pages, it managed to do all the things I want novels to do - tell me something about the world, give me a tiny glimpse into the otherness of others, and, most of all, give me that ache of longing as I turned the last page and realised I would never meet these characters again (Tahmima Anam Observer, Best Books of the Year)
Why do some people become radicalised? It's a question I've explored with experts on-air, but perhaps fiction can provide greater insight. Kamila Shamsie's powerful novel Home Fire, inspired by Sophocles's Antigone, did just that (Martha Kearney Observer, Best Books of the Year)
I very much enjoyed and admired Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie, a politically and psychologically acute novel modelled on Sophocles's Antigone - but reworked as the story of two British Muslim sisters and their jihadist brother (Emily Wilson New Statesman, 'Books of the Year')
I enjoyed Kamila Shamsie's Man Booker-longlisted Home Fire, which does a great job of bringing Sophocles's Antigone into the world of Skype and Isis. Shamsie's writing resonates on the human, political and lyrical plane but its topicality, tight plot and vivid characterisation also suggest a film script in the making (Melissa Benn New Statesman, 'Books of the Year' 2017-11-19)
Seeking a template for these dark and strange days many works have modernised Greek dramas . A particularly classy example was Home Fire, in which Kamila Shamsie relocates Antigone by Sophocles to Western and Eastern capitals during the "war on terror" (Mark Lawson New Statesman, Books of the Year 2017)
Anchors newsy debates in characters whose motives we would rather shrink from . Home Fire persuasively retold Antigone as the story of a teenage Londoner groomed to join Isil (Anthony Cummins Telegraph, Books of the Year)
The fiery new novel by Kamila Shamsie, Home Fire, which takes us from the suburban streets of Wembley to the killing grounds of Islamic State-ravaged Raqqa. Shamsie tackles issues of terrorism, political showboating and jihadi recruitment in London through the prism of a classic two-sides-of-the-track love story (George Osborne Evening Standard, Books of the Year)
Here comes Kamila Shamsie's astonishing Home Fire, speaking ancient and brand-new truth to the world ... A novel so breathtaking in the calm and witty and unshowy and inexorable telling of its story that, as I was reading it, I kept finding myself not sitting on the sofa any more reading the book but somehow standing in the kitchen wondering why on earth I'd gone through to the kitchen, what for? And realising it was that I'd kept having to put the book I was reading down and leave the room, and as soon as I realised where I was and where I wasn't, I was off, back to the grip of the book again ... The result is powerful, and in this making of a new home for the old story of the small girl who takes it upon herself to speak truth to power, she produces what I think you can truly call a contemporary classic (Ali Smith)
Home Fire left me awestruck, shaken, on the edge of my chair, filled with admiration for her courage and ambition. Recommended reading for prime ministers and presidents everywhere (Peter Carey)
WINNER OF THE WOMEN'S PRIZE FOR FICTION 2018
SHORTLISTED FOR THE COSTA NOVEL AWARD 2017
SHORTLISTED FOR THE DSC PRIZE FOR SOUTH ASIAN LITERATURE 2018
LONGLISTED FOR THE MAN BOOKER PRIZE 2017
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There's a sense of slowly moving towards the inevitable ending which I hate. I want to shout stop at them all.
Good writing but disturbing subject.
Knowing my Ancient Greek literature I did have a sense of the overall direction this would take.
Shamsie has used this as her foundation for a powerful story about the radicalization of a young man and its ramifications.
During the section where Parvaiz is radicalized I was actually able to understand the appeal for him of this cause even if the reality opened his eyes.
Epic in scale yet intimate.
The book is a modern re-telling of the Greek tragedy Antigone. A knowledge of Antigone isn't necessary but it does add an extra dimension to the read.
Aneeka and Parvaiz are twins. They grew up knowing their dead father, a jihadist, as a silence. When their mother dies they are brought up by their older sister, Isma.
When the twins reach adulthood, Isma decides to move to America to continue her studies. This move and Aneeka's enrollment in University sets a series of events in motion that lead to Parvaiz travelling to Syria.
The story is interesting and thought-provoking. The radicalization of Parvaiz flows in a logical, natural way indicating how vulnerable some young men are in certain circumstances.
The conflict between love and family versus duty and social responsibility is well explored. The book also highlights the "image" problems Muslims have and how their culture and actions are perceived by non-Muslims.
In this novel the protagonists are also connected to high ranking UK Government figures, who , because of their government roles, are caught between conflicting allegiances in a world they don’t understand.
It was a most compelling read.