In her critically acclaimed second novel, Salt and Saffron (), Kamila Shamsie followed an idealistic young Pakistani woman as she discovered that class. Impassioned and touching, KARTOGRAPHY is a love song to Karachi. In her extraordinary new novel, Kamila Shamsie shows us that whatever happens in the . 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.

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Mar 22, Neelam Naz rated it really liked it. 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 secret is revealed.

A recommended read for anyone who has spent life in Karachi. This book is too shqmsie. On one hand, maps can be used to get from point A to point B, bring order to a chaos and increase efficiency. Books of the Week. Though Shamsie depicts some pecularities of Pakistani society very accurately her main theme is not capturing.

Raheen harps on about being ashamed of the last letter she wrote to Karim, but I re-read it several times trying to figure snamsie what was so offensive. But their connectedness reaches back before birth: An enthralling novel, a history lesson, a meditation on how the past never goes away.

Still, Kartography isn’t as bad as I am making it out to be.

Review: Kartography by Kamila Shamsie | Books | The Guardian

Place seems to assume set boundaries that one fills to achieve a solid identity. I have never been more sure, I am going to keep coming back to it, again and again. In any case, I really liked the book, hated the ending. The reasons behind the broken engagements, as well as the sequence in which they happened remains unknown to both Raheen and Karim, and complicates their relationship when hidden truths emerge.


I think it’s time to put our egos aside if we actually care for Pakistan. As the years go by they let a barrier of silence build between them until, finally, they are brought together during a dry summer of strikes and ethnic violence and their relationship is poised between strained friendship and fated love.

Love, betrayal, sacrifice… and humour

I should be the last person to be saying this, but there is often something off-putting about enthusiastic recommendations. I loved the story, even better loved all the book characters: Is it the shame at losing the war, or guilt about what we did to try to win that mutes us? With that comment, the damage had been done: Spatial Concepts of Human Subjectivity. However, Kamila decides to weave in a lot more detail and does not expose the ‘Why?

Kartography is not a perfect novel, but it is a quick read that is interesting in bits, frustrating in others; sometimes beautiful, other times blundering. I’m now going to be left searching the Internet endlessly trying to guess what actually happened at the end of the book.

Fiction set in Pakistan is always something that I look forward to reading particularly after Moth Smoke and it helps that the author is a native of Pakistan and knows the geo I was going to give this a 4, but then had to settle for a 3. Her metaphors where thoughtful. How will Karachi effect the lives of each of the characters?


At times it reminded me why I kind of preferred Lahore, and it captured so well many feelings I had about Karachi when I worked there. The dramatic contrivances are just a bit too contrived and a bit too relentless: Although these children were unborn at the time, geopolitical events from Partition to civil war, and the resulting question of membership, invades their personal lives, an unwanted yet unavoidable inheritance of the politics of location.

What she uncovers reveals not just a family’s but a country’s turbulent history-and a grown-up Raheen and Karim are caught between strained friendship and fated love.


He wants to marry her and not me. Dec 13, Wsm rated it it was ok Shelves: The main character, Raheen, is a spoiled and somewhat annoying girl, who has a special connection with her all-life friend Karim.

Shamsie’s kartographu, playful style sets her apart from most of her fellow subcontinental writers. And whether or not it was “stray” becomes an important plot point. This is a must -read for anyone who wishes to read an excellent piece of contemporary literature, but it is a musn’t-miss-at-any-cost for anyone even remotely connected to the city of Karachi.