The Next Big Karachi Novel?

Nadya Chishty-Mujahid in Dawn:

Abdullah, the delightful septuagenarian protagonist of Hussain M. Naqvi’s latest novel The Selected Works of Abdullah the Cossack, might be a ‘Cossack’ (having successfully imbibed his way to earning that name), but Naqvi himself is nothing short of a veritable Vaslav Nijinsky when it comes to negotiating the balletics of Pakistani Anglophone writing. Erudite yet entertaining, the Cossack’s story, in spite of his literally heavyweight frame and metaphorically heavyweight influence, gracefully pirouettes its way through the landscape of both Abdullah’s witty mind as well as the geographical terrain of Karachi in general, and Garden East in particular.

Buttressed by over 180 footnotes that are in themselves interesting enough to merit the price of the book, the novel centres on the latter years of the protagonist’s life, though he dwells plentifully on his childhood and youth through a series of digressions that concurrently enable one to piece together a mosaic of Karachi’s history from the 1940s through to the present day.

More here.

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