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What started out as a pastime soon turned into a hobby that turned into a passion until it eventually became a necessity. Reading is a need so beautiful that I feel I must write about it every day.

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Of books and Pakistan

First published in Unique Pakistan

A few years ago, Pakistani writers were globally unheard of. Fast forward to today and you’ll see Pakistan’s literary landscape flourishing. With international awards and widespread acclaim to their merit, Pakistani authors are making waves in the literary circles and casting their magic. Pakistani novelist writing in English are now being hailed as the new generation of intellectuals propelling the country’s almost non-existent reading culture forward and garnering attention for the country due to their immense talent.

The likes of these young guns include Daniyal Mueenuddin, Kamila Shamsie, Mohsin Hamid, Mohammed Hanif, Bina Shah, Bilal Tanveer, Ali Sethi, Nadeem Aslam amongst many more. Dealing with themes of religious extremism, racism, politics, class division, war and love, these novelists are weaving complex and epic tales with their distinguished style. Their popularity can be measured by the crowd that turns up in droves to attend their sessions in literature festivals in Pakistan and India as well as the prestigious awards they have been nominated for and won.

For the last three years, Karachi Literature Festival has been accelerating the process of the resurgence of writing in Pakistan. Every year it’s becoming bigger and better, bringing together the biggest names in literati from various countries. This year the festival showcased brilliant talent to the literary starved audience of Karachi by presenting an astounding number of 150 authors, poets, journalists, publishers, etc.

According to Kamila Shamsie: ”Pakistani writing is in it’s infancy”. While that may be true, Pakistani writers are surely taking the publishing world by storm.

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