Burnt Shadows: A Novel [Kamila Shamsie] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Winner of the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award An Orange Prize. SHORTLISTED FOR THE ORANGE PRIZE In a prison cell in the US, a man stands trembling, naked, fearfully waiting to be shipped to Guantánamo Bay. Summary and reviews of Burnt Shadows by Kamila Shamsie, plus links to a book excerpt from Burnt Shadows and author biography of Kamila Shamsie.

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Only that I don’t suppose he’ll continue to think of India that way for much longer.

The Kamila Shamsie Interview

I particularly like this book for two reasons The first is the strength with which the reader feels for the central characters. It kqmila the confidence in the author’s own beliefs, her need to send a message, that put me off.

Can’t women travel alone in India? The novel is broken up into three sections. The scope of this novel is huge. The last third of the book goes off in a different tangent. This book was an Orange Prize finalist. It seemed the most extraordinary privilege — to have forewarning of a swerve in history, to prepare for how your life would curve around that bend.

A powerful, sweeping epic crossing generations, cultures and continents. It doesn’t have to be this way Hiroko is the one character that is present throughout the book and helps thread the book themes together. This question contains spoilers… view spoiler [So do you think Raza gets executed, or just sent to Guantanamo for decades or deported after Guantanamo?

The Urakami Cathedral in Nagasaki, which was obliterated on 9 August I found Burnt Shadows to be an amalgamation of characters connected through a dead link that was Konrad Weiss. I read so much, and so quickly, that it takes a rare exception of a book to send me searching for post-it notes and a pen to write down quotes from the writing.

Meanwhile, Hiroko only teaches Sajjad expressions of love in Japanese, Raza enters Iran and translates flirtatious questions of the man driving him to a carful of women into Farsi, having learned it while working in Dubai. She also sits on the advisory board of the Index on Censorship.


She has a confident, directly articulate voice that rings true on paper and in person. I conduct enough research to make some kind of start, but then as the story unfolds it determines the direction in which the research goes, and as the research proceeds it nudges the story in one direction or the other. Not a conscious decision at all—at least, not prior to starting the novel. Burnt Shadows by Kamila Shamsie is an ambitious epic book that grabs you in the prologue, as an unnamed narrator is disrobed and left to wait naked with only a steel bench to sit on.

His Dilli and his feelings of always being underestimated weren’t lost on me.

This is an elegantly written story that allows the reader to understand how history affects our relationships with each other, Sometimes history defers relationships and others relationships survive despite the history.

Then I swept through the internet, and later through the library at Hamilton College where I was teaching during part of the writing of the shamssie searching out anything I could find about Nagasaki before the bomb and on the day of the bomb. The ties that have bound them together over decades and generations are tested to the extreme, with unforeseeable consequences. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. In the numbing aftermath of a bomb that obliterates everything she has known, all that remains are the bird-shaped burns on her back, an indelible reminder of the world she has shajsie.

It has a message that is loud and clear. It was luck, pure luck, that we discovered after marriage that our natures were so sympathetic to each other. Three or four stars?

The final section’s title, “The Speed Necessary to Replace Loss”, is taken from The English Patient, a guiding spirit, though this novel begins where Michael Ondaatje’s ends, with a mushroom cloud over Asia.


In a conversation with an American woman, an Afghan man who had fought against the Soviets stated, ” But let us start at the beginning. August 9th,Nagasaki. Here is how to write a novel with emotional truth: Having said that, most of the people in this book were beautifully evoked, their characters drawn with exquisite sensitivity, often via dialogue. I often stop and ask myself: View all 12 comments.

Shamsie is a generous, expansive writer; one who paints the most intricate details with vivid sentences. I will not attempt a summary here. But equally significant was the structural shift—this is a novel in four sections, each of which is fairly self-contained and consists of different characters only Hiroko is constant through the novel, and even she recedes from the foreground over the course of the novel. The book was tragedy bound to happen.

As the years unravel, new homes replace those left behind and old wars are seamlessly usurped by new conflicts. Want to Read saving…. The writer depicts certain events with so much conviction that u feel the pain and desperation and helplessness of people. I like the ambiguity. Even the first is beyond anything I can… but a second?

It has been difficult to encapsulate this novel into a short review because it is so complex and extensive.

Burnt Shadows: Kamila Shamsie: Bloomsbury Paperbacks

The willingness, or otherwise, to hear and understand and learn another’s language, or to teach, signals the direction of a story, an emotion. You will feel challenged and shadoww, possibly provoked, and undoubtedly enriched. Konrad Weiss, a German living in Nagasaki, trying to understand their culture.

I was impressed with the scope of this novel – from Japan to Pakistan to America, and covering about half a century – it touched upon a broad spectrum of cultures, politics and lives, with the twists and turns in the story largely governed by geographic location.