Sunday, April 09, 2006


It's great to have a compelling book and a free afternoon at the same time. I picked this up at the Library 'cause the dust jacket said "Trespassing sets the standard for a new generation of Pakistani novelists." I don't know the old generation of Pakistani novelists, but Uzma Aslam Khan has woven some strong characters into the background of Pakistan in the 1990s. Dia and Daanish are exploring their relationships with each other and with their mothers - Daanish's traditional mother and Dia's more modern mother - amid threat of kidnapping and sporadic violence.

Daanish's uncles ask him to tell them about his experience in college in America. He replies that some things are different and some are the same. They say, "Tell us about the difference. We don't care about same, same." Khan has given us two young people trying to imagine their places in the world against what their families have taught them to expect. What could be more universal? But Dia and Daanish are finding their way through a cultural overlay of acceptance - "What will be, will be."

The book's flyleaf mentioned that Khan's husband is David Maine. So, I picked up his book Fallen, a new interpretation of Adam and Eve. I'm looking forward to that for next week.

(Edit. 4/12/06. Yesterday fifty-seven people died in a bombing in Karachi. And I understand that better than I would have before I read Khan's book.)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hey mary ann. Thanks for the recommendation. I have just started Khan's book TRESPASSING and am also loving it. Love the spirally structure, and the characters, especially the sinister Salaamat! I know someone else who read and said the ending is a real surprise so am holding my breath.