Posts Tagged ‘Granta’

Uzma Aslam Khan’s Thinner than Skin

Wednesday, September 26th, 2012

My my, this blog has been quiet. But now some great news: Uzma Aslam Khan’s Thinner than Skin is just back from the printers. We’re enormously excited and honored to be publishing Uzma’s fourth novel, the first since her stunning The Geometry of God—one of Clockroot’s first books and according to Kirkus Reviews one of the best books of 2009.

A little advance praise for Thinner than Skin:

“In gorgeous prose, Khan writes about Pakistan, a land of breathtaking beauty, and the complex relationships between people who are weighted with grief and estrangement. As her characters’ lives play out against the backdrop of the external world whose violence gradually closes in on them, Khan brilliantly probes the fatal limitations of human understanding. A novel of great lucidity and tenderness, filled with splendid descriptions of the land, the people who have always inhabited it, and those who are irresistibly drawn to it.”
—Therese Soukar Chehade

“Smart, fierce, and poignant: perhaps the most exciting novel yet by this very talented writer.”
—Mohsin Hamid

You can read an excerpt of Thinner than Skin here in the Daily Star, as well as in the soon-to-be-released fall issue of the Massachusetts Review (print only! but why not get a copy of such a great magazine?). An excerpt also appeared in Granta‘s widely celebrated recent issue on Pakistan. As always, please contact us if you’d like a review or desk copy. I’ll close with a little more about the novel itself:

In the wilds of Northern Pakistan, where glaciers are born of mating ice, two young lovers shatter the tenuous peace of a nomadic community

Thinner than Skin is a riveting novel about identity and belonging. It’s also a love story: between Nadir, a Pakistani man trying to make his way as a photographer in America, and Farhana, a Pakistani-American woman who wants to return to a country she’s never seen. Together Nadir and Farhana journey to Pakistan, accompanied by one of her colleagues—who will join her in studying Pakistan’s extraordinary glaciers—and by Nadir’s oldest friend. But they are not the only interlopers here: a suspect in a recent bombing has arrived just before them, and the authorities’ hunt for him casts a dangerous shadow over their journey. It is here, in this magnificent landscape—where glaciers are born of mating ice—that a chance meeting with a young nomad will change their lives, and the lives of those around them, forever.

Thinner than Skin is a haunting tribute to these lands, and to the nomadic life of the indigenous people there, where China encroaches and Pakistanis, Uzbeks, Russians, Chinese, and Afghans all come together to trade. It is a work of piercing beauty and intelligence, and an urgent novel for our times.

At Granta: Uzma Aslam Khan on literature in Urdu

Tuesday, October 19th, 2010

To further mark the publication of Granta‘s new issue on Pakistan, Ollie Brock interviews Uzma Aslam Khan and Aamer Hussein on Urdu literature (and, as Uzma adds, on literature in the many other languages of Pakistan). Here’s a little bit from Uzma, on one of her favorite Urdu writers:

[Saadat Hasan Manto‘s] short story “Toba Tek Singh” was my closest glimpse of the scars of Partition that my father never shared with us. His family came to Lahore in 1947 from a tiny village near Amritsar; his grandparents were beheaded before his mother’s eyes. I think he let his children see his past through reading “Toba Tek Singh,” a satirical account of the inmates of a mental asylum who have nowhere to go at Partition, but are forever left in limbo, between Pakistan and India.

The story made me deeply suspicious of easy categorization, particularly along ethnic and religious lines. It also made me understand that I come from a country that wasn’t shaped by those who migrated to it, like my parents, nor by the many indigenous tribes who’d lived there long before any one presumed to scratch lines across their land. Mine is the first generation of writers to be born in Pakistan, so, like my parents, I also carry the weight of beginning. The need to look in Pakistan’s looking-glass and know the slippery ghosts of my history has been imperative for me as a writer. I don’t think I’ve ever stopped hungering to know my place in these chaotic layers. It’s the hunger to make up for what was never said. It’s the terror of being left as voiceless as the inmates of the asylum.

Read in full here

Events this weekend! From San Francisco to Turners Falls, Uzma Aslam Khan and Emily Toder

Wednesday, October 6th, 2010

For West Coast followers: Uzma Aslam Khan will be launching Granta 112: New Writing from Pakistan this weekend at the Bay Area’s Litquake festival—see her at the “Litcrawl” on October 9, 7:15 at the Modern Times Bookstore.  Go see her for us, we wish we could be there.

And/or: catch Uzma at Revolution Books in Berkeley at 7 pm on October 12, where she might read from The Geometry of God and—maybe this is just a rumor I’m starting—perhaps from her new novel, from which her piece in Granta is excerpted.

If you’re local—head up to the Rendezvous this Sunday, where Emily Toder and James Haug will read as part of Slope Editions‘ reading series. Emily will read her own poetry (I’ve been awaiting her chapbook, Brushes With, just out from Tarpaulin Sky)— and maybe a taste of Doctor Pi, too.  The reading’s at 5 (and stay for karaoke at 8 if you like…).

And to honor the spirit of international collaboration: I’ve somehow neglected to mention Emily’s co-chapbook, I Hear a Boat, which was released this summer with Joan Fleming’s Two Dreams in Which Things Are Taken as part of the Duets series. Duets is a project to pair poets from the US and New Zealand, publishing their work side-by-side in beautifully designed chapbooks—offering not just two servings of great poetry, but international collegiality & conversation.

Uzma Aslam Khan & Granta 112: New writing from Pakistan

Sunday, August 29th, 2010

g112-cover-1Granta‘s fall 2010 issue  features writing from Pakistan, including a new story, “Ice, Mating,” by Uzma Aslam Khan. It looks like a fantastic issue, can’t wait to see it!  And Uzma will be at San Francisco’s Litquake festival in October, for those of you in the Bay Area; we’ll link to the schedule once it’s up.

John Freeman

Wednesday, June 10th, 2009

Encouraging sound bites from an interview with John Freeman, new acting editor of Granta:

What excites you most about Granta?

The chance to publish the world’s best writers. Reading the magazine over the past fifteen years has introduced me to so many essential voices, like Ryszard Kapuściński, Arundhati Roy, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Geoff Dyer, Daniel Alarcón. [...]

[...] I don’t believe there’s a lack of good writing in our world, but rather a shrinking number of places where it can be published imaginatively, to a wide audience willing to submit themselves to the pleasures and guidance of serious literature, of what it can show them and where it can take them. As an international literary magazine, Granta is in a unique position to tell readers important stories, to make people think. It’s what our readers expect of us.

How do you think Granta can be improved?

Culturally, financially, and metaphorically, we don’t live in an Anglo-American world anymore, but even the best magazines – Granta included – do not fully reflect this. Look at the last ten years of Booker Prize winners and finalists. Our culture has become dangerously detached from the world at large. We need to do a better job of finding writers outside of the English language, from all parts of the world – but especially the Middle East, Africa, and Asia – and call on them to tell stories, rather than sending someone from the Anglo-American world to ferry back the news.