The Wandering Falcon, By Jamil Ahmad
Arifa Akbar is literary editor of The Independent and i newspapers. She has worked at The Independent since 2001 as a news reporter and arts correspondent before joining the books desk in 2009. She was a judge for the Orwell Prize for books 2013, and the Fiction Uncovered Prize 2014.
Saturday 19 May 2012
The first of these interconnected stories dramatises an honour killing in the desert plains of Pakistan's tribal territory and it made its debut author a star at the age of 78 when it was first published in Granta.
Here, Ahmad follows up that magnificent story with eight, equally powerful others, written in the same taunt, fable-like prose. We follow the first story's orphaned boy, Tor Baz, as he wanders nomadically across the Frontier province and Balochistan, his personal fortunes criss-crossing with the region's clans. These clans are neither romanticised nor vilified, but shown in all their terrible, resilient beauty.
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