Everyone loves the excitement and mystery surrounding a book release, more so if it’s from your favorite author. Just two years after her most recent book Duckling was released, Kamila Shamsie’s latest book Best of Friends is releasing September 27. While you’re waiting to get your hands on her new release, here’s five of her best works to read to get you excited for what’s to come.
Set against the backdrop of an oppressive political regime, 11-year-old Hasan finds himself navigating a confusing world as he transitions to young adulthood. The novel is relatable to most of us in many ways; coming to terms with change, acknowledging new feelings and seeking out confidants in the toughest of times. This was also Kamila Shamsie’s first book that debuted in 1998 when she was only 25 years old.
Arguably one of her best books (okay, maybe this is just my bias,) Kartography beautifully captures the complexity of living in Karachi, the aftermath of the 1971 Bangladesh Genocide and upper class privileges in a chaotic city. Shamsie allows readers to explore the intimacy of childhood friendships, family secrets and personal histories that raise more questions than answers.
Another tale of lasting bonds and intimate relationships, Burnt Shadows follows protagonist Hiroko Tanaka from Nagasaki to India, then to Pakistan after partition in 1947, and finally to New York. Spanning several decades and traversing through pivotal moments in history, Burnt Shadows takes readers through the complexities of various eras and the undying need for companionship through life.
Packed with powerful characters spanning vast geographical spaces, A God In Every Stone ping-pongs between Britain and India against the backdrop of World War I and signifcant historic events. The depth of character development and examination of cultures and love intertwined with one another makes this a messy and gripping book to get lost in.
A 21st century adaptation of Sophocles Antigone, Home Fire surrounds the lives of British-Muslims living in London who end up scattered across the globe for vastly different reasons. Another powerful read by Shamsie, who is also British-Pakistani, the novel highlights themes of belonging, national identity, loyalty and the consequences of masculinity.
Whether you’re eagerly awaiting Best of Friends or want to start reading some of her first novels, Kamila Shamsie is one author you need to keep on your radar, particularly if you’re looking to discover South Asian authors.
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