The Wandering Falcon

The Wandering Falcon

By Jamil Ahmad

Riverhead Books, Paperback, 9781594486166, 243pp.

Publication Date: October 2, 2012

For readers of Khaled Hosseini, Daniyal Mueenuddin, and Mohsin Hamid, a remarkable, award-winningbook about the tribes of Pakistan and Afghanistan.
In this extraordinary tale, Tor Baz, the young boy descended from both chiefs and outlaws who becomes the Wandering Falcon, moves between the tribes of Pakistan and Afghanistan and their uncertain worlds full of brutality, humanity, deep love, honor, poverty, and grace. The wild area he travels -- the Federally Administered Tribal Area -- has become a political quagmire known for terrorism and inaccessibility. Yet in these pages, eighty-year-old debut author Jamil Ahmad lyrically and insightfully reveals the people who populate those lands, their tribes and traditions, and their older, timeless ways in the face of sometimes ruthless modernity. This story is an essential glimpse into a hidden world, one that has enormous geopolitical significance today and still remains largely a mystery to us.
Jamil Ahmad is a storyteller in the classic sense -- there is an authenticity and wisdom to his writing that harkens back to another time. "The Wandering Falcon "reminds us why we read and how vital fiction is in opening new worlds to our imagination and understanding.

Wednesday, Jul 16, 2014

The Wandering Falcon received high praise and was shortlisted for the 2011 Man Asian Literary Prize. (This piece initially aired June 16, 2011 on Morning Edition). More at

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