Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Read Your Way Around the World - Kashmir

Said by many to be among the most beautiful places on earth, Kashmir has long been an inspiration for writers. It's more recent political instability has also inspired much debate and writing.

Delve into these recent Kashmir related titles and begin to discover for yourself what is so special about Kashmir and why peaceful times are seemingly so elusive.

Curfewed Night: a frontline memoir of life, love and war in Kashmir,
by Basharat Peer. 2010

Recently nominated for a 2010 Guardian First Book Award.

"Basharat Peer was a teenager when the separatist movement exploded in Kashmir in 1989. Over the following years countless young men, fuelled by feelings of injustice, crossed over the Line of Control to train in Pakistani army camps. Peer was sent off to boarding school in Aligarh to keep out of trouble. He finished college and became a journalist in Delhi. But Kashmir - angrier, more violent, more hopeless - was never far away.

In 2003 Peer, now a young journalist, left his job and returned to his homeland. Drawing a harrowing portrait of Kashmir and her people - a mother forced to watch her son hold an exploding bomb, politicians living in refurbished torture chambers, picturesque villages riddled with landmines - this is above all, a story of what it really means to return home - and the discovery that there may not be any redemption in it.

Lyrical, spare, gut wrenching and intimate, ′Curfewed Night′ is a powerful and intensely moving debut, combining the insight of a journalist with the prose of a poet." ~ publisher

In the Valley of Mist : Kashmir : one family in a changing world,
by Justine Hardy. 2009

"Relying on her experience as a twenty-year-veteran correspondent of the Kashmir conflict and her twelve-year friendship with the Dar family, Justine Hardy weaves together a kaleidoscope of viewpoints--from reformed jihadists and Indian generals to Pandit refugees and members of the Dar family--as she recounts the story of Kashmir's troubled past and equally unstable present." - Publisher

Tea and Pomegranates : a memoir of food, family and Kashmir,
by Nazneen Sheikh. 2005

"Nazneen Sheikh has lived among the kings and queens of Mughal food—in fact, they're family. Through tales of her Kashmiri relatives and the wonderful meals they have shared together, she brings alive the food-mad history and enduring culture of the Mughal people.

Pink tea served in a samovar by her grandmother, a gift of wild black mushrooms from her matinee-idol uncle, her aunt Khush's secret recipe for Kashmiri hareesa—the sight, smell and taste of these and other delicacies infuse Nazneen's memories of her childhood. From entertaining Pakistani cabinet ministers to feasting to end Ramadan and picnicking in the countryside, Tea and Pomegranates is a culinary delight.

In ten chapters, each accompanied by a rare and delicious Mughal recipe, Nazneen invites us to enjoy a banquet that starts at the break of day and ends at night. As captivating as a novel, this unique memoir takes the reader on a fascinating journey into a culture that never fails to celebrate the rich possibilities of food, life and love" ~ Publisher

Also consider these works of Kashmir themed fiction:

Shalimar the Clown : a novel, by Salman Rushdie.

Bunker 13, by Aniruddha Bahal.

Seventeen Tomatoes: tales from Kashmir, by Jaspreet Singh

Chef : a novel, by Jaspreet Singh.

1 comment:

  1. Mystery lovers may also enjoy, "The Last Kashmiri Rose" by Barbara Cleverly.