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.”
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.