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Saturday, February 27, 2010

A Window to Pakistan's Wildlife - Guess who is talking about Karachi?

Ajmal Husain, a painter of the very first rank and one of Pakistan’s most prodigious artists, has become a legend in his lifetime. During the last 60 years he has produced an astonishing variety of one-man exhibitions that have received considerable critical acclaim, both at home and abroad.

A Window to Pakistan's Wildlife Beautiful Pictures and Music sent in by RJ

“Karachi, the city in symbolic defiance against terrorism and violence and intolerance, is experiencing and inspiring a true cultural renaissance,” began Liz. “What’s happening today is an explosive cultural surge that is evidenced in arts, music, theatre, dance, literature, the new media, fashion, lifestyle, architecture, newer institutions of higher education. The work being produced is world-class level. They are beginning to garner world attention and awards with talk of bigger prizes to come.” Liz’s ‘mini-lecture’ resumed as we sat hearing young authors read from their wonderful works at the ‘Second Floor.’ The place brimmed with people one had known over the years. “Why can’t we have something similar in Islamabad?” I said. But Liz was now truly a Karachiite who was all praise for the city government. “The mayor and his deputy, even if not acknowledged or appreciated by all because of one or another's differing political affiliations, have done much to encourage this cultural urban flowering through city-wide programmes calling for the people of Karachi to take pride in their great city — to take ownership by proudly claiming it as ‘our Karachi.’”

Book review: Asphyxiation of the ‘American dream’ —by Afrah Jamal

Home Boy: A Novel
H M Naqvi Shaye Areheart Books; Pp 288

Nine-eleven (9/11) fiction can be a high wire act; making it the centrepiece is a temptation many newcomers might succumb to. Several things set H M Naqvi’s debut novel apart from other books of the same genre, books that draw upon 9/11 for inspiration. The author, by comparison, never allows that instance to eclipse the stories of his central characters or their fractured world even when the lengthening shadows reach out to swathe their lives in momentary darkness. Consequently, the boom is muffled, and instead of a sudden fall into chaos, the descent is slow. In Home Boy, H M Naqvi grapples with the complexities of a new world order and the communities caught in the throes of this change.


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