Our Lady of Alice Bhatti
By Mohammed Hanif
(Vintage Books, Paperback, 9780307948946, 239pp.)
Publication Date: February 26, 2013
List Price: $15.00*
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Mohammed Hanif delivers a shockingly funny new novel set in steaming Karachi, about second chances, thwarted ambitions and love found in the most unlikely places.
The patients of the Sacred Heart Hospital for All Ailments need a miracle. Alice Bhatti may be just what they’re looking for. She’s the daughter of a part-time healer in the French Colony, Karachi’s infamous Christian slum, and it seems she has, unhappily, inherited his part-time gift. With a bit of begrudging but inspired improvisation, Alice begins to bring succor to the hospital’s overflowing patients. But all is not miraculous. Alice is a Christian in an Islamic world, ensnared in the red tape of hospital bureaucracy, trapped by the caste system, and torn between her patients, her father and her husband—who is about to drag Alice into a situation so dangerous that perhaps not even a miracle will be able to save them.