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Kartography by Kamila Shamsie


Kartography by Kamila Shamsie

What is the moment, that exact moment when everything changes and the friends you have been, become the lovers you might be? Soul mates from birth Karim and Raheen finish one another's sentences, speak in anagrams and lie spine to spine as children. They are irrevocably bound to one another and to Karachi, Pakistan. It beats in their hearts - violent, polluted, corrupt, vibrant, brave and ultimately, home. However, Raheen is fiercely loyal and naively blinkered and she resents Karim's need to map their city, his need to name its streets and to expand the privileged world they know. When Karim is forced to leave for London their differences of opinion become a painful quarrel. 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. Impassioned and touching, Kartography is a love song to Karachi. In her extraordinary new novel, Kamila Shamsie shows us that whatever happens in the world, we must never forget the complicated war in our own hearts.


A boisterous tribute to her home town that crackles with the chaos of Pakistani political life
The Times

'Deftly woven, provocative...blistering humour'
Zoe Green, Observer Review

'She's our new multi-culti Nancy Mitford; a global girl who does love in both hot and cold climates...She's great'
Barbara Trapido

About the Author

Kamila Shamsie was born in 1973 in Pakistan. She is the author of four previous novels: In the City by the Sea, Kartography (both shortlisted for the John Llewellyn Rhys / Mail on Sunday Prize), Salt and Saffron and Broken Verses. In 1999 she received the Prime Minister's Award for Literature and in 2004 the Patras Bokhari Award - both award by the Pakistan Academy of Letters. Kamila Shamsie lives in London and Karachi.

Kamila Shamsie is available for interview and is also an experienced journalist, broadcaster, speaker and chairperson at public events.

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Book Info

Publication date

2nd June 2003


Kamila Shamsie

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Bloomsbury Publishing PLC


352 pages


Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)



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