Stranger to History by Aatish Taseer
A Son's Journey through Islamic Lands

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Synopsis

“Indispensable reading for anyone who wants a wider understanding of the Islamic world, of its history and its politics.” —Financial Times

Aatish Taseer’s fractured upbringing left him with many questions about his own identity. Raised by his Sikh mother in Delhi, his father, a Pakistani Muslim, remained a distant figure. Stranger to History is the story of the journey he made to try to understand what it means to be Muslim in the twenty-firstcentury. Starting from Istanbul, Islam’s once greatest city, he travels to Mecca, its most holy, and then home through Iran and Pakistan. Ending in Lahore, at his estranged father’s home, on the night Benazir Bhutto was killed, it is also the story of Taseer’s divided family over the past fifty years. Recent events have added a coda to Stranger to History, as his father was murdered by a political assassin. A new introduction by the author reflects on how this event changes the impact of the book, and why its message is more relevant than ever.


 

About Aatish Taseer

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Aatish Taseer is the author of two novels, The Temple-Goers and Noon, and a translation. He has worked as a reporter for Time magazine, and has written for The Sunday Times, the Financial Times, and Esquire. His work has been translated into more than a dozen languages, and he lives in London and Delhi.
 
Published November 13, 2012 by Graywolf Press. 337 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Religion & Spirituality, Travel. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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Taseer traveled from the extremely secular, in Istanbul, to the extremely pious, in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, and found Islam served as both a nationality and “brotherhood of man.” Interviewing people of varying degrees of faith, he gained the sense that Islam was considered a “world system,” with it...

Aug 29 2012 | Read Full Review of Stranger to History: A Son's ...

The Guardian

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Aatish Taseer grew up in secular, pluralist India.

Mar 14 2009 | Read Full Review of Stranger to History: A Son's ...

BC Books

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Continued on the next page Page 1 — Page 2 — Page 3 — Page 4

Feb 02 2010 | Read Full Review of Stranger to History: A Son's ...

BC Books

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Attempting to find an answer to this question, Taseer sets off on a personal pilgrimage through the Islamic world.

Feb 02 2010 | Read Full Review of Stranger to History: A Son's ...

BC Books

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(In Islam the father's religion dictates that of the children.) However when Taseer, now a journalist in England, writes an article about second generation Pakistani immigrants becoming fundamentalists and extremists because of estrangement and failure of identity, his father takes him to task...

Feb 02 2010 | Read Full Review of Stranger to History: A Son's ...

The Bookbag

Aatish Taseer was born of out of a short week of passion between a Sikh Indian mother and a Pakistani Muslim father.

Aug 19 2010 | Read Full Review of Stranger to History: A Son's ...

The Boston Globe

So writes Aatish Taseer about his meeting with a woman in Tehran, one of dozens of encounters in his travels across the Muslim world chronicled in “Stranger to History,’’ his impressive first work of nonfiction, published three years ago in Britain and now debuting here.

Dec 03 2012 | Read Full Review of Stranger to History: A Son's ...

Scotsman.com

This enquiry fuels his trip – and the book's main thrust – a journey from Istanbul (once the greatest city of Islam) to Iran and Pakistan, by way of Mecca, "a journey home to my father's country where my link to Islam began, and … to his doorstep".

Apr 08 2009 | Read Full Review of Stranger to History: A Son's ...

The Coffin Factory

It is in Syria where Taseer learns that Muslim faith “was such a negative force, because it didn’t matter what kind of Muslim you were, just that you were Muslim, because there was never any plan to offer real solutions, only to harness grievance,” and that “its sense of outrage had much more to ...

Dec 22 2012 | Read Full Review of Stranger to History: A Son's ...

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