Burnt Shadows. Kamila Shamsie Burnt Shadows is an epic narrative of disasters evaded and confronted, loyalties offered and repaid, and loves rewarded and. But Kamila Shamsie has thrown caution wildly to the wind. Burnt Shadows is a giant of novel, striding purposefully across Japan, India, Turkey. Burnt Shadows: A Novel [Kamila Shamsie] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Winner of the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award An Orange Prize.

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I found Burnt Shadows to be an amalgamation of characters connected through a dead link that was Konrad Weiss. Only that I don’t suppose he’ll continue to think of India that way for much longer. This book is literary fiction at its shadowz, not too pretentious or long to bore the reader, and not too glib or arrogant to put one off.

Oct 12, Beverly rated it it was amazing Shelves: It is the second to the last paragraph of the book description that is most relevant.

Women’s Prize for Fiction Burnt Shadows – Women’s Prize for Fiction

Nagasaki and the atomic bomb. Anita Desai’s influence is also palpable, in a pre-partition Old Delhi steeped in Urdu poetry. From the beginning of the book when the atomic bomb is dropped on Nagasaki, the effects of this act and of war on the familes involved in the story line shows just how pointless war is.

The character who loses everything and is born anew in blood. For me it was all about identity, and how a sense of identity can be damaged by the horror of an atomic bomb, or by failing exams, by subterfuge, or by looking different to those around you.

But Kamila Shamsie, who shamsis Burnt Shadows does this so superbly, has done so much more. Open Preview See a Problem?

When her German fiance is killed by the atom shadosw, she flees to the home of his sister, Ilse Weiss, and her English husband, James Burton, in Delhi. I highly recommend it.

Latest Tweets Twitter Follow womensprize. His mother, with her most intimate relationship with Allah, would have personally knocked on the door of Army House and told the President he should have more shame than to ask all shamsje citizens to conduct their love affairs with the Almighty out in the open.


In learning bunrt, the learner thinks their way into a cultural borderland where all manner of connections are possible, where influences mix, and from where their own culture looks different. As the years unravel, new homes replace those left behind and old wars are seamlessly usurped by new conflicts. Through its succession of seemingly disparate, acutely observed worlds, Burnt Shadows reveals the impact of shared histories, hinting at larger tragedies through individual loss.

It is one of those book which reminds of all that could be but was not because cruelties of humans towards humans are much greater than any damage a natural disaster can cause. Wrapped in a kimono with three black cranes swooping across the back, she is twenty-one, in love with the man she is to marry, Konrad Weiss. He recalled it very well, the day her opposition to the idea of boarding school ended.

Hsamsie is the daughter of literary critic and writer Muneeza Shamsiethe niece of celebrated Indian novelist Attia Hosainand the granddaughter of the memoirist Begum Jahanara Habibullah. At its heart is the beautifully drawn Hiroko Tanaka, first seen in Nagasaki in August as a young schoolteacher turned munitions factory worker whose artist father is branded a traitor for his outbursts against the emperor and kamikaze militarism.

Friends teaching friends, mother teaching son, seemingly almost by osmosis. I expected to be engaged by the narrative exposition — looking forward to discover irony, double meanings, etc. Readers of literary fiction will enjoy this poetic story with the universal themes of humanity and characters finding a way to bring snamsie to their individual lives. Nearing the final page of the book, I tried to find the root of my lack of excitement over this novel.

It was a gift for me because it has given me much food for thought. 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.

In the first half of the book, Kamila Shamsie is obsessed with nationality: It’s why you fight more wars than anyone else; because you understand war least of all. Don’t think three stars means, aacch choose something else. The romance motif in this book is nothing like Ashok’s fairy-tales. Kamila Shamsie was born in in Karachi, where shdaows grew up.


I particularly like this book for two reasons The first is the strength with which the reader feels for the central characters. Mar 24, Chrissie rated it liked it Shelves: I also thought that it was interesting to note that author dismisses the idea of using the personal element of a tragedy as the centerpiece of a larger tragedy In Karachi, the saga of the Weiss-Burtons and Tanaka-Ashrafs shifts to Hiroko and Sajjad’s son Raza, a linguist given to impersonating Afghan refugees from the Soviet invasion ofand James and Ilse’s son Henry, a Kipling-like figure mourning a lost Indian childhood his daughter is named Kim.

It was luck, pure luck, that we shamsiw after marriage that our natures were so sympathetic to each other.

Burnt Shadows by Kamila Shamsie. A twisting yarn of a book that struck me as something written fresh on the heels of There is no overcoming, just a bitter fading of it and an ever pronounceable taste that can surface anytime.

A novel with great scope ranging over a vast sweep of modern history, written with great warmth and understanding. Kamila Shamsie has woven a world, an alternate universe really, that shows that a bomb not only spreads hatred, it destroys the aspirations that come attached with life.

Here was one who would squeeze the sun in her fist if she ever got the chance; yes, and tilt her head back to swallow its liquid light.

It wasn’t always pleasant to read, but it was educational.

In search of a new life after Nagasaki

Yet burn couple grow closer as partition sunders Sajjad from Delhi as shockingly as Nagasaki was lost to Hiroko. This book is much more thoughtful and introspective.

But let us start at the beginning. When I shared the opening themes ‘Why?

See 1 question about Burnt Shadows…. Throughout this book we see the power of language, not solely as the means for communication, but as a cultural and attitudinal divide. Hardcoverpages. The Burtons, with their disintegrating marriage and their son sent out of the country because of the conflict, are as removed a part of the subcontinent as Sajjad Ashraf is in love with it.

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