Winner of the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award
An Orange Prize Finalist
Nagasaki, August 9, 1945. Hiroko Tanaka watches her lover from the veranda as he leaves. Sunlight streams across Urakami Valley, and then the world goes white.
In the devastating aftermath of the atomic bomb, Hiroko leaves Japan in search of new beginnings. From Delhi, amid India's cry for independence from British colonial rule, to New York City in the immediate wake of 9/11, to the novel's astonishing climax in Afghanistan, a violent history casts its shadow the entire world over. Sweeping in its scope and mesmerizing in its evocation of time and place, this is a tale of love and war, of three generations, and three world-changing historic events. Burnt Shadows is a story for our time by "a writer of immense ambition and strength. . . . This is an absorbing novel that commands in the reader a powerful emotional and intellectual response" (Salman Rushdie).
About Kamila ShamsieSee more books from this Author
Shamsie takes readers on a tour de force in this examination of the impact of war, following a trajectory from the devastation of Nagasaki in WWII through the conflict-ridden formation of PakistanJan 26 2009 | Read Full Review of Burnt Shadows: A Novel
Through it all, Hiroko, branded by the bird-shaped scars - the "burnt shadows" - the bomb seared into her back, survives through her skill with new languages, her willingness to assume new identities and her refusal to judge others on their own origins.Mar 21 2009 | Read Full Review of Burnt Shadows: A Novel
But the subtlety lies in repeated patterns of allegiance and estrangement, betrayal and atonement, in the echoes between kamikaze pilots and suicide bombers, or between Ilse's alacrity in branding Sajjad as a rapist in the novel's Forsterian vignette and Kim's suspicion of Muslims after 9/11.Mar 06 2009 | Read Full Review of Burnt Shadows: A Novel
"Burnt Shadows," by Kamila Shamsie, a Pakistani novelist who writes in English, comes to us from England, where it has recently been named a finalist for the Orange Prize.May 15 2009 | Read Full Review of Burnt Shadows: A Novel
In the opening section of the book, Shamsie describes the four critical hours in Hiroko's life that will have a lasting legacy.Jan 03 2011 | Read Full Review of Burnt Shadows: A Novel
While maintaining domestic reality – through the home lives of the Ashrafs and the Burtons, the parents' ambitions, the children's achievements, adolescence, the roughage of everyday Pakistan life – the shadow of geo-political forces nonetheless moves into the foreground, becoming personal, given...Mar 25 2009 | Read Full Review of Burnt Shadows: A Novel
Hiroko and Kim find themselves embroiled in Raza’s plot to help his childhood friend escape back to Pakistan That’s a very abbreviated version of a complex and compelling plot and a short answer to that question of “How did it come to this?” without hopefully revealing any of the key plot twists.Nov 16 2010 | Read Full Review of Burnt Shadows: A Novel
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