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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Her books have been translated into a number of languages. I have read other works by Shamsie, all worth reading, no karrography, and I agree that it is a writer’s obligation to venture into new territory, but I believe that when she writes about Pakistan, is when she is truly in her element and at her very best.

Trying to enjoy life like normal teenagers, they sometime seem almost oblivious to the violence. But I particularly enjoyed how Karim questions and pesters Raheen about her relationship with Karachi and often calls her out to be complacent and blind. Who can blame us? There is so much tragedy all around that people from all classes and ranks of life have their own sanctuaries to seek refuge from all this madness. You will notice very quickly that you’re reading a book by someone who can write.

Shamsie builds up a crescendo that is enticing, making the reader desperate to know why Karim’s mother and Raheen’s father broke up, why they remained close friends and why this knowledge ultimately repels Karim away from Raheen. Every character speaks with arch self-consciousness, meaning Shamsie clearly could not separate her own voice from that of her characters.


But she didn’t do it four months ago?! Karachiites are a bunch of very resilient people. The strength of the novel lies in its characters. Especially since I might not even have a reason to return like Karim did Think of it as a civic duty. I knew that there were so many reasons to fail to love it, to cease to love it, to be unable to love kamlla, that it made love a fierce and unfathomable thing. Jan 07, Beth rated it really liked it Shelves: Is it shame at losing the war, or guilt about what we did to try to win that mutes us?


It is also a nice reminder that even though this is a book about betrayal, sacrifice, despair and God knows what else, it is also very far from being humourless. Both approaches leave out important information, and Karim accuses Raheen of refusing to consider the implications of the big story, both as it concerns their relation to Karachi and to their own families:.

London and New York: He develops an obsession with maps, as if by lending structure to Karachi’s streets, he could make sense of his beloved, imploding home. I read this book 5 years too late, perhaps, 5 years after leaving Karachi. The trouble with books that end poorly is that no matter how much you enjoyed the beginning, it’s always those last few pages, that collapsed narrative, those damning passages that linger in your memory.

She kartogrraphy too much in the perfect match and destiny. This violence—and the lingering legacy of the civil war of —is the backdrop for the story of Raheen and Karim, a girl and boy raised together in the s and ’80s, whose lives are shattered when a family sha,sie is revealed.

The dialogue between the kids – especially between Karim and Raheen, but Zia and Sonia were guilty too – was unrealistic and annoyingly precious.

Although these children were unborn at the time, geopolitical events from Partition to civil war, and sjamsie resulting question of membership, invades their personal lives, an unwanted yet unavoidable inheritance of the politics of location. Basically, refuse to share his opinion and all you’re getting is an attitude. But at the heart of the romance is the knowledge that those hands may kartgoraphy off elsewhere, but somehow through luck or destiny or plain blind groping they’ll find a way back to you, and maybe you’ll be smart enough then to be grateful for everything that’s still possible, in spit of your own weaknesses- and his.


Karachi never gets any good press, its dirty, unattractive, chaotic – at the same time to me its – charming, energetic, vibrant, challenging, comfortable and thick-skinned. Yet her heroes are certainly articulate, to the point of archness. I wouldn’t write Shamsie off completely, though. Summer Bingo-One word title This is a beautifully told story about love, relationships, and coming of age in war torn Pakistan I quite enjoyed that.

Ali’s immunity from ethnic issues is never addressed. The civil war, whose basis was geography and ethnicity, was by all accounts a horrible, murderous time, as such times tend to be; but for Karim, whose mother is Bengali, it is charged with a particularly personal significance.

Kamila Shamsie’ Kartography is an exciting novel, especially for those who have lived in Karachi.

Kartography by Kamila Shamsie

Kamila Shamsie is one of the best novelists I’ve ever read. Raheen, Karim, Sonia and Zia I was all ready to give this book 4 stars until the final 2 pages. How we didn’t know about the family secrets, the secre I Love this book with all its faults.

Never is her writing more incandescent than when she is describing Karachi. The story depicts the elite class, a tiny fraction of the population which the kaftography has herself acknowledged, and may be misleading for readers if they are trying to understand Pakistani culture but that distance is well-described”.