Burnt Shadows: A Novel [Kamila Shamsie] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Winner of the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award An Orange Prize. SHORTLISTED FOR THE ORANGE PRIZE In a prison cell in the US, a man stands trembling, naked, fearfully waiting to be shipped to Guantánamo Bay. Summary and reviews of Burnt Shadows by Kamila Shamsie, plus links to a book excerpt from Burnt Shadows and author biography of Kamila Shamsie.

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Everything written in the book can be reflected in one simple phrase, “The speed necessary to replace loss.

Her books have been translated into a number of languages. It is not a spoiler.

Burnt Shadows

It’s not that I sensed the plot elements lacked credibility, or that these characters’ coming together, drawing apart, only to be united again, seemed too farfetched to bear a resemblance to reality. Hardcoverpages. I often stop and ask myself: But in some ways they are. At this point I felt the characters lacked shmsie substantial dimension; they became pawns in the storyboard the author was setting up for the final climactic scene.

Did not make it any less interesting read. His mother, with her most intimate relationship with Allah, would have personally knocked on the door of Army House and told the President he should have more shame than to ask all the citizens to conduct their love affairs with the Almighty out in the open. As she steps onto her veranda, wrapped in a kimono with three black cranes swooping across the back, her world is suddenly and irrevocably altered.

Thanks for telling us about the problem. At its heart is the beautifully drawn Hiroko Tanaka, first seen in Nagasaki in August as a young schoolteacher turned munitions factory worker whose artist father is branded a traitor for his outbursts against the emperor and kamikaze militarism.

How every decision we make is not independent it conc I started this book with no hope of ever liking it. I felt this one would have stood being longer to develop the issues and some of the characters.

The writer depicts certain events with so much conviction that u feel the pain and desperation and helplessness of people. Far more, I suspect, will feel challenged and enlightened, possibly provoked, and undoubtedly enriched. In search of new beginnings, she travels to Delhi two years later. There was a constant movement between burrowing deeply into one time period, one set of characters, and then stepping way back to see if that worked as a mosaic piece for the larger picture hopelessly mixed metaphor there!


Children are out of bounds.

Any reader anticipating a predictable yarn about the radicalisation of Islamist youth may feel shdaows. Pakistan – Nile daughter recommends “Burnt Shadows”. CIA backing for the mujahideen’s resistance war, and abandonment of them once the Soviet army withdrew, is seen as a grim policy failure whose legacy is being reaped in “Jihadi blowback”. Is her search at all a metaphor for people trying to understand their own place in history?

When worlds collide

It could be because she grew up here, but there is yearning in the writing here. From Burtons to Shaadows and back to the Burtons; time doesn’t stop for anyone long enough to take them with it. Here is how to write a novel with emotional truth: But what is the outcome for the people who have suffered at the hands of their invaders? You will feel challenged and enlightened, possibly provoked, and undoubtedly enriched.

When I shared the opening themes ‘Why? Oct 12, Beverly rated it it was amazing Shelves: See 1 question about Burnt Shadows…. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Instead the relationships are broken down jalopies, bravely forging ahead on unstable ground.

The narrative thrust is sustained and ambitious – it’s a blooming good story, well told.

Burnt Shadows: Kamila Shamsie: Bloomsbury Paperbacks

This has quickly become one of my favourite books of all time. This book is literary fiction at its finest, not too pretentious or long to bore the reader, and not too glib or arrogant to put one off. Many hefty books would benefit from being shorter. In addition there is humor: I am usually left wondering a bit about what I think. Wrapped in a kimono with three black cranes swooping across the back, she is twenty-one, in love with the man she is to marry, Konrad Weiss.

In the end there was no grandson, and no section—but there is a link between the woman in Nagasaki and a young man from Pakistan. View all 9 comments.


After Hiroko decamps to New York, disgusted by nuclear posturing between India and Pakistan, and encounters Abdullah as a taxi driver, the final section alternates between an apartment she shares with Kim, overlooking the smouldering fires of Ground Zero, and Afghanistan, where Harry and his interpreter Raza have joined forces in a private security firm.

The Burtons, with their disintegrating marriage and their son sent out of the country because of the conflict, are as removed a part of the subcontinent as Sajjad Ashraf is in love with it. In learning language, the learner thinks their way into a cultural borderland where all manner of connections are possible, where influences mix, and from where their own culture looks different.

This author seems to KNOW exactly what she wanted to say. Influence is a hard one to pin down—I suspect readers are better are being able to detect influence in my work than I am. It is over here that the Weiss and the Burtons will find their way into the lives of the Tanaka and Ashrafs, all the while spanning across greater demographics. I love the philosophical questions. Why a second bomb? Well, I always felt that my life, and everyone’s lives nowadays, is not l Lists with This Book.

The next day James Burton had told Sajjad how relieved he was that his wife had suddenly decided to withdraw all her ‘sentimental’ objections to sending Henry to boarding school. Interview by Michele Filgate Tags: She was overwhelmed by a felling of sorrow for her boy, for that look in her eyes which told her he knew and had always known that he would have to take that most exceptional part of himself and put it to one side.

The willingness, or otherwise, to hear and understand and learn another’s language, or to teach, signals the direction of a story, an emotion.