Curfewed Night: One Kashmiri Journalist's Frontline Account of Life, Love, and War in His Homeland

Curfewed Night: One Kashmiri Journalist's Frontline Account of Life, Love, and War in His Homeland

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by Basharat Peer
     
 

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Since 1989, when the separatist movement exploded in Kashmir, more than 70,000 people have been killed in the battle between India and Pakistan over Kashmir. Born and raised in the war-torn region, Basharat Peer brings this little-known part of the world to life in haunting, vivid detail..

Peer reveals stories from his youth as well as gut-wrenching accounts of… See more details below

Overview

Since 1989, when the separatist movement exploded in Kashmir, more than 70,000 people have been killed in the battle between India and Pakistan over Kashmir. Born and raised in the war-torn region, Basharat Peer brings this little-known part of the world to life in haunting, vivid detail..

Peer reveals stories from his youth as well as gut-wrenching accounts of the many Kashmiris he met years later, as a reporter. He chronicles a young man’s initiation into a Pakistani training camp; a mother who watches as her son is forced to hold an exploding bomb; a poet who finds religion when his entire family is killed. He writes about politicians living in refurbished torture chambers, idyllic villages rigged with landmines, and ancient Sufi shrines decimated in bomb blasts..

Curfewed Night is a tale of a man’s love for his land, the pain of leaving home, and the joy of return—as well as a fiercely brave piece of literary reporting..

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Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
A young Kashmiri recalls his youth and journalistic apprenticeship in a "fragile fairyland" torn apart by the war for independence. Born in 1977 in Anantnag to a family of educated Muslims, Peer was expected to join the Indian civil service when he grew up, which would ultimately offer a better position in the bureaucracy than his father had attained. However, by the early '80s civil unrest was widespread. Kashmir's promised autonomy, granted by India in 1947, was gradually restricted, and the populace began agitating for independence. The guerrilla organization JKLF (Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front) was formed in 1990 and led by 21-year-old militant Yasin Malik. Kashmiri youth were recruited into rebel groups, bused into Pakistan for training and given "magical" Kalashnikovs. Peer experienced both the hero-longing to join up-his father convinced him to stay in school-and the tragedy of learning the fate of those who did, such as his promising cousin Tariq, who killed in a raid. Every aspect of life was disrupted, especially Peer's boarding school, partly commandeered by the Indian military so the students could hear the screams of rebels being tortured at night. Peer attended Delhi University and studied law, though he left school in 2000 and sought out jobs as a journalist, allowing him to travel between India and Kashmir and offer testament to the ongoing violence. At one point he tracked down survivors from the notorious Papa II torture center, whose stories were almost too painful for him to write about. The second part of the book is a meandering travelogue, as the author recounts sites disfigured by war, such as the once-elegant capital, Srinagar, rendered a "City of NoJoy."Peer tenderly addresses aspects of religion, military and family kinships, but the narrative feels too lightweight for the subject matter.
From the Publisher
"Describing the ruin of Kashmir, Curfewed Night doesn't only shock, it challenges our most cherished beliefs––in democracy, rule of law, and the power of individual conscience. Everyone should read it."
— Pankaj Mishra, author of Temptations of the West

"The story of Kashmir has never been told before so evocatively and profoundly. Peer writes with the skill of a novelist, the insight of a journalist and the evocative power of a poet."
— Ahmad Rashid, author of The Taliban and Descent

"A passionate and important book - a brave and brilliant report from a conflict the world has chosen to ignore."
— Salman Rushdie

Curfewed Night is the finest book I have read on the contemporary Kashmir conflict – literary, humane, clear-eyed and reliable. Basharat Peer has given voice, unforgettably, to a generation of Kashmiris who have never been heard in the United States, but who should be.
— Steve Coll, author of The Bin Ladens, Ghost Wars and On The Grand Trunk Road

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781439123522
Publisher:
Scribner
Publication date:
02/02/2010
Sold by:
SIMON & SCHUSTER
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
240
Sales rank:
1,089,668
File size:
3 MB

Meet the Author

BASHARAT PEER was born in Kashmir in 1977. He studied journalism and politics at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. He has worked as an editor at Foreign Affairs and served as a correspondent at Tehelka, India's leading English language weekly. His work has appeared in The Guardian, New Statesman, The Nation, Financial Times Magazine, N+1, and Columbia Journalism Review, among other publications. Curfewed Night, his first book, won one of India's top literary awards, the Vodafone Crossword Book Award for English Non Fiction. Peer is a Fellow at Open Society Institute and lives in New York.

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