Sunday, October 3, 2010

Pretty cosmetic

Beautiful from this Angle
Maha Khan Phillips
Penguin; Rs 250; Pp 240

Maha Khan Phillips’ Beautiful from this Angle follows the well-trodden path of upper-middle-class authors from Pakistan exploring complex relationships of feudal, cocaine-snorting free spirits carrying the woes of the world on their Armani-clad shoulders. We glimpsed some of this angst-ridden world earlier, albeit very sensitively etched out, in books such as Mohsin Hamid’s Moth Smoke. Author Kamila Shamsie too has brought a youthful, fresh and frank voice to social and political issues concerning Pakistan’s feudal and middle classes. About a decade back, this was new and considered revolutionary writing. Indeed, given Pakistan’s increasing Talibanisation and on-and-off military rule, this genre of books had an edgy danger. It was courageous, and even shocking.

Other writers, such as Moni Mohsin, used wicked wit in books like The Diary of a Social Butterfly — and gave us a delightful insight into the low shenanigans of a very hypocritical elite in Pakistan. In her new book, Phillips has brought in elements already covered by all these authors, and tried to blend them with a dark humour.

Full report here Indian Express 

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