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The Shadow of the Crescent Moon by Fatima Bhutto
  

The Shadow of the Crescent Moon

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Longlisted for the 2014 Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction.

Fatima Bhutto is the niece of Benazir Bhutto who publicly accused her aunt of murdering her father Murtaza while she, aged 14, protected her baby brother. She tells of her ordeal in her memoir Songs of Blood and Sword. This is her first novel which she has obviously drawn from her own experience. It tells of a family of three brothers in a small town on the Pakistan/Afghan border. One is a doctor, married but with a wife badly damaged by the death (by terrorists) of their child, one a student having escaped to America to study and one caught in the insanity of local freedom fighters as he follows his love, a strong woman. Set over one day it is an exquisite book. Powerful, hypnotic, hugely sad yet very wonderful, this is a must read.

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Synopsis

The Shadow of the Crescent Moon by Fatima Bhutto

Longlisted for the 2014 Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction.

Fatima Bhutto's stunning debut novel The Shadow of the Crescent Moon, begins and ends one rain swept Friday morning in Mir Ali, a small town in Pakistan's Tribal Areas close to the Afghan border.

Three brothers meet for breakfast. Soon after, the eldest, recently returned from America, hails a taxi to the local mosque. The second, a doctor, goes to check in at his hospital. His troubled wife does not join the family that morning. No one knows where Mina goes these days. And the youngest, the idealist, leaves for town on a motorbike. Seated behind him is a beautiful, fragile girl whose life and thoughts are overwhelmed by the war that has enveloped the place of her birth.

Three hours later their day will end in devastating circumstances.

The Shadow of the Crescent Moon chronicles the lives of five young people trying to live and love in a world on fire. Individuals are pushed to make terrible choices. And, as the events of this single morning unfold, one woman is at the centre of it all.

Reviews

'Bhutto writes of an extraordinary place where beauty lives alongside brutality, with superb poise and a kind of defiant lyricism' The Times

'Stunning ... Few debut novels can adequately explore such colossal themes as betrayal and allegiance, or persuasively render fear, doubt and determination' The National

'Incredibly ambitious, extremely powerful and moving' Radio 4

'Stunningly worded' Company Magazine

'Concise, elegant. Bhutto is a gifted and compelling writer, economically and poetically summoning up this beautiful mountainous backwater' Mail on Sunday

'Powerful, compelling, moving inexorably to a devastating conclusion' Sunday Express

'[Explores] the divisive split between those suffering from the direct consequences of war and a generation of unaware, complacent young Pakistanis' Evening Standard

'A first novel of uncommon poise and acuity, The Shadow of the Crescent Moon is set in an old and protracted war for land and dignity. But its swift and suspenseful narrative describes a fiercely contemporary battle in the human heart: between the seductive fantasy of personal freedom and the tenacious claims of family, community and history' -- Pankaj Mishra

'An extraordinary first novel which reads like a politico-religious thriller. Compelling.' -- Hector Abads

'This is (...) a human story, with love as well as ideology - Bhutto blends the two adroitly (and) 'writes with great poignancy, keeping the emotional pitch high' Financial Times

'It's a heart-stopping thriller, as well as an important political commentary about oppression, occupation and war. Most strikingly, though, it's a devastating love story' -- Jemima Khan New Statesman 'Books of the Year

'The novel is set over the course of one morning in a small town in Pakistan's tribal regions (and) follows the story of three brothers who are forced to make difficult choices. But the heart of the novel, for Bhutto, lies in the female characters' Observer

'Thought-provoking. Above all, what The Shadow of the Crescent Moon captures so well is not just the trauma of war, but also the conflicts of contemporary Pakistanis, torn between remaining faithful to the legacy of previous generations, and their own dreams of choosing their own destiny' Sunday Telegraph

About the Author

Fatima Bhutto

Fatima Bhutto was born in 1982 in Kabul, grew up in Damascus, and lives in Karachi. She is the author of a memoir, Songs of Blood and Sword. The Shadow of the Crescent Moon is her first novel.

Author photo © Paul Wetherell

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Book Info

Publication date

27th February 2014

Author

Fatima Bhutto

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Author's Website

www.fatimabhutto.com.pk/
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Publisher

Penguin Books Ltd

Format

Paperback
240 pages

Categories

Literary Fiction
All Shortlists and Winners
Family Drama
eBook Favourites
eBook Favourites

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)

ISBN

9780241965627

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