Broken Verses

Broken Verses

by Kamila Shamsie

Paperback(First Edition)

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780156030533
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date: 06/01/2005
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 553,767
Product dimensions: 5.31(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.79(d)

About the Author

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.

What People are Saying About This

Herman Fong

"An utterly riveting tale. Shamsie has created one of the most compelling characters to appear in recent fiction." --(Herman Fong, The Odyssey Bookshop)

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Broken Verses 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
cestovatela on LibraryThing 4 hours ago
Aasmani Inqilab's childhood would be unusual for an American girl; for a Pakistani one, it is almost unheard-of. Her mother is Pakistan's most famous women's rights activist and a feminist icon who "lives in sin" with her lover, Pakistan's most beloved poet. Because the poet is so frequently imprisoned or exiled, Aasmani's mother is often too distracted to care for her and leaves her with her biological father and his new wife. All this chaos ends suddenly when Aasmani is 14. The poet is found brutally murdered, her mother plunges into a depression and disappears mysteriously two years later. You might think I'm spoiling the novel with this much information, but this is all set-up for the heart of the novel, which takes place 14 years later. Aasmani is 31, living on her own for the first time, outwardly "just fine" while inwardly consumed with grief, rage and denial. When a letter appears written in her mother's secret code, she must choose whether to investigate it. This book contains a mystery, but no matter what the jacket copy would have you believe, it's not really a mystery novel. Most of the suspense is psychological: if Aasmani chooses to believe her mother is alive, what will be the cost to her sanity? Should she forgive her mother for abandoning her so many times and the poet for asking her to do so? How do we love someone who is both brilliant and flawed? How can we see the dead as the real people they were and not the mental picture of them we created in their absence? I absolutely loved this book. It is emotionally resonant, character-driven and asks worthwhile questions about living. I particularly admired writer Kamila Shamsie's show-don't-tell writing and ability to create larger-than-life characters who still felt very real. Although I gave this book a 5 star rating, it may not appeal to every reader. There is very little action because most of the book consists of Aasmani's conversations with her biological father, half-sister, new boyfriend and assortment of old family friends. Each of the dialogues explores the novel's central questions from a variety of perspectives. I left the book feeling wholly satisfied and intrigued by the questions it proposed, but other readers might find the conversations tedious and Aasmani frustrating. Read if you love cerebral, character-driven books that focus on ideas rather than action.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
i love the story plot and especially the main character strength
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have to say this is probably of the best books I read in 2009. I love reading foreign authors for a look at different cultures. This book gives the reader a look at life in Pakistan in present day as well as during the upheaval of the 1980s.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
'Broken Verses' has so many meaningful insights you'll need to add it to your home library so you can reread it, and refer to for inspiration and a peek into your own being. I have traveled to Pakistan through Aasmani's eyes and the journey was amazing.