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Broken Verses
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Published:
HMH Books 2005
Format:
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Description

Fourteen years ago, famous Pakistani activist Samina Akram disappeared. Two years earlier, her lover, Pakistan's greatest poet, was beaten to death by government thugs. In present-day Karachi, her daughter Aasmaani has just discovered a letter in the couple's private code-a letter that could only have been written recently.

Aasmaani is thirty, single, drifting from job to job. Always left behind whenever Samina followed the Poet into exile, she had assumed that her mother's disappearance was simply another abandonment. Then, while working at Pakistan's first independent TV station, Aasmaani runs into an old friend of Samina's who gives her the first letter, then many more. Where could the letters have come from? And will they lead her to her mother?

Merging the personal with the political, Broken Verses is at once a sharp, thrilling journey through modern-day Pakistan, a carefully coded mystery, and an intimate mother-daughter story that asks how we forgive a mother who leaves.

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Street Date:
06/01/2005
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780547537825
ASIN:
B00D2DU5CU
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Kamila Shamsie. (2005). Broken Verses. HMH Books.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Kamila Shamsie. 2005. Broken Verses. HMH Books.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Kamila Shamsie, Broken Verses. HMH Books, 2005.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Kamila Shamsie. Broken Verses. HMH Books, 2005. Web.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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Grouped Work ID:
02bb238b-cdf5-3d8e-2ed3-bc6b7334aeb6
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Date Added:
Dec 18, 2017 13:21:23
Date Updated:
Dec 18, 2017 13:21:23
Last Metadata Check:
Nov 11, 2019 00:13:39
Last Metadata Change:
Jan 05, 2019 19:10:11
Last Availability Check:
Nov 11, 2019 00:14:33
Last Availability Change:
Mar 10, 2019 13:37:54
Last Grouped Work Modification Time:
Nov 11, 2019 01:38:57

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      • bioText:

        KAMILA SHAMSIE is the author of five novels: In the City by the Sea, Kartography (both shortlisted for the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize), Salt and Saffron, Broken Verses and Burnt Shadows, which was shortlisted for the Orange Prize and has been translated into more than 20 languages. She is a trustee of English PEN and Free Word, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, and one of Granta's 20 Best Young British Writers of 2013. She grew up in Karachi and now lives in London.

      • name: Kamila Shamsie
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publishDate
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shortDescription

Fourteen years ago, famous Pakistani activist Samina Akram disappeared. Two years earlier, her lover, Pakistan's greatest poet, was beaten to death by government thugs. In present-day Karachi, her daughter Aasmaani has just discovered a letter in the couple's private code-a letter that could only have been written recently.

Aasmaani is thirty, single, drifting from job to job. Always left behind whenever Samina followed the Poet into exile, she had assumed that her mother's disappearance was simply another abandonment. Then, while working at Pakistan's first independent TV station, Aasmaani runs into an old friend of Samina's who gives her the first letter, then many more. Where could the letters have come from? And will they lead her to her mother?

Merging the personal with the political, Broken Verses is at once a sharp, thrilling journey through modern-day Pakistan, a carefully coded mystery, and an intimate mother-daughter story that asks how we forgive a mother who leaves.

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title
Broken Verses
fullDescription

Fourteen years ago, famous Pakistani activist Samina Akram disappeared. Two years earlier, her lover, Pakistan's greatest poet, was beaten to death by government thugs. In present-day Karachi, her daughter Aasmaani has just discovered a letter in the couple's private code-a letter that could only have been written recently.

Aasmaani is thirty, single, drifting from job to job. Always left behind whenever Samina followed the Poet into exile, she had assumed that her mother's disappearance was simply another abandonment. Then, while working at Pakistan's first independent TV station, Aasmaani runs into an old friend of Samina's who gives her the first letter, then many more. Where could the letters have come from? And will they lead her to her mother?

Merging the personal with the political, Broken Verses is at once a sharp, thrilling journey through modern-day Pakistan, a carefully coded mystery, and an intimate mother-daughter story that asks how we forgive a mother who leaves.

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reviews
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        March 21, 2005
        Turbulent Karachi is the backdrop for this intriguing, shimmeringly intelligent fourth novel by Shamsie (Kartography
        ), which tells the story of progressive, overeducated Aasmaani Inqalab, the utterly likable 31-year-old daughter of fiery feminist icon Samina Akram. Since the age of 17, Aasmaani has been haunted by the brutal murder of her mother's lover—known simply as "the Poet"—and by her mother's disappearance two years later. As she eloquently puts it, "every prayer of mine for the last fourteen years had been one single word: Mama." Aasmaani takes a job as a quiz show researcher where she falls for the "dazzling" television producer Mir Adnan Akbar, who goes by "Ed." Ed is himself the child of a larger-than-life mother, the retired Pakistani actress Shehnaz Saeed, who happens to be Samina Akram's former confidante. Shehnaz's eagerly anticipated return to acting brings her into contact with Aasmaani. When she receives a cryptic letter, Shehnaz delivers it to Aasmaani knowing that Aasmaani's mother and the Poet developed a secret code to communicate with each other. As more letters arrive courtesy of Ed, Aasmaani convinces herself that the Poet is alive, held captive by a group he calls "the Minions." Although Aasmaani's interiority occasionally overwhelms the otherwise well-paced narrative, her characterization is Shamsie's crowning triumph. Wry, fetching and too clever for her own good, she is a captivating, unexpected heroine. Agent, Victoria Hobbs at A.M. Heath & Co. Ltd. (U.K.).

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        June 1, 2005
        Aasmaani Akram has landed a job as a quiz show research assistant for the first independent television station in Karachi, Pakistan, shortly before the heralded return of Shehnaz Saeed, a legendary actress set to star in a station soap opera. Shehnaz was a close friend of 30-year-old Aasmaani's feminist icon mother, Samina, missing and presumed dead for the last 14 years. Aasmaani's father, Pakistan's greatest modern poet, disappeared just two years before Samina. Their outspoken activism meant long periods of parental absence for their daughter and fostered an air of cynicism and distrust. But when Shehnaz gives Aasmaani a series of coded letters ostensibly written by her parents, Aasmaani investigates her troubled past and faces the possibility that her parents may, in fact, be alive and imprisoned. Four-time novelist Shamsie ("Kartography") offers a beautifully written tale that is equal parts A.S. Byatt -style mystery and mother-daughter saga peopled with strong, engaging characters and deftly infused with humor and romance. The political realities of a post-9/11 Pakistan add another compelling dimension to the universal themes of familial, artistic, and political responsibility. Recommended for larger public libraries and those desiring to amass a collection of international authors. -Jenn B. Stidham, Houston Community Coll. Northeast

        Copyright 2005 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: School Library Journal
      • content:

        June 1, 2005
        Adult/High School -Growing up in Pakistan, Aasmaani Inqalab, 31, was no stranger to government corruption and intrigue. Her heroes were her mother, an outspoken activist, and her mother's lover, a poet known for his criticism of bureaucracy. Far from a stable influence, though, the couple had a pattern of disappearing into exile when the government drew too close and reappearing months or years later. When she was a teen, the Poet was beaten to death, and her mother vanished shortly afterward. Aasmaani assumed that this disappearance was like all the others, and that her mother would reappear without apology one day. But when she begins receiving coded messages that suggest that the Poet's death was staged as part of a government plot, she is drawn into a web of intrigue in which her own life may be in danger. Her mother's closest friend resurfaces, and Aasmaani must decide whether Shehnaz and her son are truly looking out for her well-being or have ulterior motives. The story skillfully combines political intrigue with family dynamics. Characters are beautifully drawn, especially Aasmaani, whose inability to get beyond her abandonment has left deep scars. Shamsie's love for and knowledge of the people of today's Karachi shine through this compelling tale." -Kim Dare, Fairfax County Public Library System, VA"

        Copyright 2005 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

popularity
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publisher
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