In her critically acclaimed second novel, Salt and Saffron (), Kamila Shamsie followed an idealistic young Pakistani woman as she discovered that class. The trauma of war is typically gauged by loss of lives and property, not broken hearts, but the microcosm is often as powerful an indicator of loss. Impassioned and touching, KARTOGRAPHY is a love song to Karachi. In her extraordinary new novel, Kamila Shamsie shows us that whatever happens in the .

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She doesn’t explain everything for readers unfamiliar with Pakistan’s history, language, and culture, trusting that they’re intelligent enough to figure things out from context or look up what they don’t know! Kartography is the story of Raheen, and her best friend Karim, who grow up together, and are then separated during their teenage years. As though all the bullet needed was a good home and a bone to chew on.

Books of the Week. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Against this suspenseful backdrop, Kartography is ostensibly a tale of kartgraphy growing up in s Karachi, a period when the city was once again beset by ethnic strife.


Local Cultures, Global Change. It has this uncanny ability to capture the little details – like the ability to be able to find beauty in unexpected places, how everyone comes together and “contacts” are called in times of need, how a car thief can actually help you fix your car, the nicknames for “gossipy society women”, the parties, the late night drives, tea, the melodramatic lifelong relationships with our friends.

I can relate to that so much. I am beginning to think she understands my soul.

She knows that this second world really is her world. Mar 06, Nigham rated it really liked it Shelves: A love story with a family mystery at its heart, Kartography is a dazzling novel by a young writer of astonishing maturity and exhilarating style. I’m sure somebody who isn’t a Karachiite wouldn’t feel the same way I did when I read this, but to me, it was just a reminder of the insane love I hold for Karachi even when I hate it in my most superficial moments.


The catalyst appears to be an informal lesson given at the dinner table by Uncle Asif. In any case, I really liked the book, hated the ending. Ali’s immunity from ethnic issues is never addressed. There are too many feelings here. I think what most people find annoying about this book – which on afterthought – I didnt find annoying- is the relationship between Raheen and Karim.

When she is old enough to look within and around, and understand the canker. Her prose is lush with symbolism and shamelessly lovely in certain parts. You can almost laugh at this humor of the elites, their typically unaffected life, and these games of making it to the lists of parties and knowing who is who and what is what.

John Bird et al. Come home and tell me, what do I do with this breaking heart of mine? Or are we waiting for another event like that. It was strong and impressive. There’s a certain image that I always remember when I think of the book; “can angels lie spine to spine?

Think of it as a civic duty. For those who lived through those years in Karachi, the novel serves as a bittersweet reminder of a difficult time in a beloved city. My favorite modern novel. It was really important for me to read on a personal level, and so well written for just that purpose.

These are Raheen and Karim, whom we first meet in a Karachi garden inwhen they are Reviewed by Laila Kazmi. I was drawn to this book by its title which finds an explanation in the book in a nice way and the Goodreads’ blurb.


Do you know what it is to wander out of the comfort of your own streets and your own stories?

Review: Kartography by Kamila Shamsie | Books | The Guardian

I was all ready to give this book 4 stars until the final 2 pages. On the other, it takes on much bigger themes – betrayal, forgiveness, morals.

Zia, for example, understands their implication in history, including their inherited trauma, perfectly, and advises Raheen: Yet her heroes are certainly articulate, to the point of archness. Discover what to read next. People assume they will eventually marry.

The kkartography of remembering may break our wilted spirits. Regarding the Pain of Others. At times it reminded me why I kind of preferred Lahore, and it captured so well many feelings I had about Karachi when I worked there. I loved this book.

So odd, and SO frustrating. I read about the unstable law and order conditions of the city and that still rings true even today. Or, more to the point, which stories have you deliberately katography away from, Ra, and why? Karachi is portrayed as a complex city, lively and dangerous. When they get older they inevitably harbor feelings for each other but there is something in their parents’ past that poses a hefty obstacle This was a fairly effortless and enjoyable read.

You forget, several years later, how much you relished the first pages, how tightly the prose gripped you, how quickly you devoured it. Preview — Kartography by Kamila Shamsie.