Burnt Shadows

A Novel

Kamila Shamsie

Picador

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Winner of the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award
An Orange Prize Finalist

Nagasaki, August 9, 1945. Hiroko Tanaka watches her lover from the veranda as he leaves. Sunlight streams across Urakami Valley, and then the world goes white.

In the devastating aftermath of the atomic bomb, Hiroko leaves Japan in search of new beginnings. From Delhi, amid India's cry for independence from British colonial rule, to New York City in the immediate wake of 9/11, to the novel's astonishing climax in Afghanistan, a violent history casts its shadow the entire world over. Sweeping in its scope and mesmerizing in its evocation of time and place, this is a tale of love and war, of three generations, and three world-changing historic events. Burnt Shadows is a story for our time by "a writer of immense ambition and strength. . . . This is an absorbing novel that commands in the reader a powerful emotional and intellectual response" (Salman Rushdie).

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Burnt Shadows
The Yet Unknowing WorldNAGASAKI, 9 AUGUST 1945... a time to recollect every shadow, everything the earth was losing, a time to think of everything the earth and I had lost, of all that I would lose, of all that I was losing. 
--AGHA SHAHID ALI, A Nostalgist's Map of America 
 
 
In past wars only homes burnt, but this time Don't be surprised if even loneliness ignites. In past wars only bodies burnt, but this time Don't be surprised if even shadows ignite. 
--SAHIR LUDHIANVI, ParchaiyaanBURNT SHADOWS © 2009 by Kamila Shamsie.

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Kamila Shamsie talks about the inspiration for her novel, Burnt Shadows.

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Reviews

Praise for Burnt Shadows

"The most ambitious novel yet by this talented writer. In Burnt Shadows, Kamila Samsie casts her imagination remarkably far and wide, through time and across continents."--Mohsin Hamid

"Kamila Shamsie is a writer of immense ambition and strength. She understands a great deal about the ways in which the world's many tragedies and histories shape one another, and about how human beings can try to avoid being crushed by their fate and can discover their humanity, even in the fiercest combat zones of the age. Burnt Shadows is an absorbing novel that commands, in the reader, a powerful emotional and intellectual response."--Salman Rushdie

"Burnt Shadows is audacious in its ambition, epic in its scope. A startling expansion of the author's intentions, imagination and craftsmanship. One can only admire the huge advances she has made, and helped us to make, in understanding the new global tensions."--Anita Desai

"One of the finest writers at work anywhere, period . . . A great, absorbing novel, one that will be with us a long time."--Rick Simonson, Elliot Bay Book Company

"Kamila Shamsie opens a vista onto the century we have just lived through--pointing out its terror and its solace. She is so extraordinary a writer that she also offers hints about the century we are living through--the dark corners that contain challenges, as well as the paths that lead to beauty's lair."--Nadeem Aslam, author of Maps for Lost Lovers


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About the Author

Kamila Shamsie

KAMILA SHAMSIE was born in 1973 in Karachi. She has studied and taught in the USA. Two of her previous novels, Kartography and Broken Verses, have won awards from Pakistan's Academey of Letters. She writes for The Guardian (UK) and frequently broadcasts on the BBC.

Kamila Shamsie

Mark Pringle
Kamila Shamsie

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Available Formats and Book Details

Burnt Shadows
A Novel
Kamila Shamsie

Trade Paperback

Trade Paperback
Picador
April 2009
Trade Paperback
ISBN: 9780312551872
ISBN10: 0312551878
5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches, 384 pages
$16.00

e-Book Agency

e-Book Agency
Picador
April 2009
e-Book Agency
ISBN: 9781429920780
ISBN10: 1429920785
384 pages
$9.99
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