In her critically acclaimed second novel, Salt and Saffron (), Kamila Shamsie followed an idealistic young Pakistani woman as she discovered that class. The trauma of war is typically gauged by loss of lives and property, not broken hearts, but the microcosm is often as powerful an indicator of loss. Impassioned and touching, KARTOGRAPHY is a love song to Karachi. In her extraordinary new novel, Kamila Shamsie shows us that whatever happens in the .

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But if we allow for erasure we tell ourselves that things can be forgotten, put in the dustbin. That said, one of my biggest gripes with the book from the very beginning was Shamsie’s dialogue: The keyword shamsle I’d like to associate with this book is the consistency. Their winter holidays have just started and their plans of spending their days roaming the city with two other close friends, Zia and Karyography, are being spoiled by their parents.

When they get older they inevitably harbor feelings for each other but there is something in their parents’ past that poses a hefty obstacle to their happy ever after.

The description about the high society; I don’t really know if that is accurate. On the other, it takes on much bigger themes – betrayal, forgiveness, morals.

Sonia is in fact a bit dim, but Zia, who is painted as something of a Woosterish drone, is smart enough to say, at 13, that the point of smoking is to draw attention to the lips, which is exactly right. Or would I cowardly abandon the city that has taught me to fly? Memos from the Besieged City: Karachi is just as important to karography story as the two main characters, Raheen and Karim.


Love, betrayal, sacrifice… and humour

She writes, “It hits you in unexpected moments, kartogarphy city’s romance ; everywhere, air pockets of loveliness just when your lungs can’t take anymore congestion or pollution or stifling newspaper headlines. Intriguingly and somewhat salaciously, Karim’s father used to be engaged to Raheen’s father and vice versa. Despite these irritations, I finished the book in one sitting, urgently wanting to solve the mystery behind the spouse swap.

What she uncovers reveals not just a family’s but a country’s turbulent history-and a grown-up Raheen and Karim are caught between strained friendship and fated love.

Review: Kartography by Kamila Shamsie | Books | The Guardian

In any case, I really liked the book, hated the jartography. The only explanation from Raheen’s father for this swap is that “the music changed. Kartography constantly references “” and alludes to a lot of these abuses, so it was great to have some idea of what had happened in that war I remembered loving the book when I read it a few years ago.

I was quite pleased with it when I first picked it up: Every character speaks with arch self-consciousness, meaning Shamsie clearly could not separate her own voice from that of her characters.


The stories which get told are like the pieces of a larger puzzle: Karachi is portrayed as a complex city, lively and dangerous. Pretty good writing, it just doesn’t necessarily go as deep into certain topics as it could Shamsie never adequately karttography any of the characters’ motivations or reactions.

Although these children were unborn at the time, geopolitical events from Partition to civil war, and the resulting question of membership, invades their personal lives, an unwanted yet unavoidable inheritance of kamilla politics of location. This in itself covers a lot of issues such as ethnic, religious and socio-economic prejudices, changing shajsie, redemption, forgiveness, whether one big consequential action defines a person, as well as the conc I remembered loving the book when I read it a few years ago.


Her message is well intended but her insight to the differences in society rich and poor, generational conflicts, historical implications and the East-West culture remain superficial. Raheen, Karim, Sonia and Zia I was all ready to give this book 4 stars until the final 2 pages.

Simply written, with the story evolving as per requirement; kareem and raheen are characters I shall remember for quite some time.

Kartography: Kamila Shamsie: Bloomsbury Paperbacks

As children, Raheen and Karim could read each other’s thoughts and complete each other’s sentences. Jan 07, Beth rated it really liked it Shelves: I could not’ve read this in a single sitti Ever eat something that was so good, you had to take breaks, slow kaftography, remember to stop to breathe because it was just so rich or delicious that you just couldn’t take it too quickly?

The reasons behind the hsamsie engagements, as well as the sequence in which they happened remains unknown to both Raheen and Karim, and complicates their relationship when hidden truths emerge. The civil war, whose basis was geography and ethnicity, was by all accounts a horrible, murderous time, as such times tend to be; but for Karim, whose mother is Bengali, it is charged with a particularly personal significance.

I am so in love with this tale of human errors, decisions and forgiveness and above all my fav fav topic: