The Wandering Falcon
The Wandering Falcon is Jamil Ahmad’s harsh and beautiful portrait of a tribal landscape.
SHORTLISTED FOR THE MAN ASIAN PRIZE 2011
LONGLISTED FOR THE DSC SOUTH ASIAN PRIZE 2013
The boy known as Tor Baz – the black falcon – wanders the tribal landscape of Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan. He meets men who fight under different flags, and women who risk everything if they break their society’s code of honour. Where has he come from, and where will fate take him?
‘Striking. One of the finest collections of short stories to come out of south Asia in decades. Rarely has a writer shown greater empathy for its people, or brought such wisdom and knowledge to writing about a terrain largely inaccessible. The power and beauty of these stories are unparalleled in most fiction to come out of south Asia’ Guardian
‘Remarkable. Written in a style that has about it the reverberant clarity of fables, but their intention is realist, uncovering a largely neglected world, and their cumulative effect is deeply moving’ Sunday Times
‘Its setting alone, in the cruel and punishing highlands, deserts and rocky altitudes where the borders of Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran meet, is worth the price of admission. Here is a book, to my knowledge the first in fiction, that gives an insider’s account of the hard-bitten lives of the scores of tribes, collectively known as the Pawindas, or foot-people. The result is mesmerising’ The Times
‘Brilliantly evokes the harshness of nomadic life. Chilling’ Metro
Jamil Ahmad was born in Jalandhar in 1933. As a member of the Civil Service of Pakistan, he served mainly in the Frontier Province and in Balochistan. He was Political Agent in Quetta, Chaghi, Khyber and Malakand and later, commissioner in Dera Ismail Khan and Swat. He was posted as minister in Pakistan’s embassy in Kabul at a critical time, before and during the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979, and his last assignment in the government was Chief Secretary Balochistan. He lives in Islamabad with his wife, Helga Ahmad.
A wonderful debut * The Economist * Superb. The work of a gifted story teller who has lived in the world of his fiction, and who offers his readers rare insight, wisdom and - above all - pleasure -- Mohsin Hamid * - * Mesmerising * The Times * Authentic and poetic * The Times * One of the finest collections of short stories to come out of south Asia in decades. Rarely has a writer shown greater empathy for its people, or brought such wisdom and knowledge to writing about a terrain largely inaccessible * Guardian * Brilliantly evokes the harshness of nomadic life. Chilling. * Metro *
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