The Wandering Falcon

By Jamil Ahmad
(Riverhead Books, Paperback, 9781594486166, 256pp.)

Publication Date: October 2, 2012

Other Editions of This Title: Hardcover, Paperback, Paperback, Hardcover, Hardcover

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Selected by Indie Booksellers for the October 2011 Indie Next List
“These linked tales set along the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan are unlike anything else you have read about the region. They offer a generous and moving portrait of a little understood way of life. This is the kind of fiction that moves beyond terms like 'great literature' and ventures on to terms like 'essential' and 'necessary.'”
-- Robert Sindelar, Third Place Books, Lake Forest Park, WA


Description

For readers of Khaled Hosseini, Daniyal Mueenuddin, and Mohsin Hamid, a remarkable, award-winning book 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.




About the Author

Jamil Ahmad was born in 1930 and died in 2014. He joined the Civil Service of Pakistan in 1954 and served mainly in the Frontier Province and Baluchistan. He was also development commissioner for the Frontier and chairman of the Tribal Development Corporation, and was posted as minister in Pakistan's embassy in Kabul at a critical time, before and during the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. He lives in Islamabad with his wife, Helga Ahmad, a nationally recognized environmentalist and social worker. This is his first book.




NPR
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 NPR.org

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NPR
Tuesday, Sep 27, 2011

The Wandering Falcon is a collection of short fiction from Jamil Ahmad. Ahmad is an 80-year-old former Pakistani government official who is making his debut in fiction. More at NPR.org

NPR Audio Player Requires Flash Upgrade: Please upgrade your plug-in to view this content.




Conversation Starters from ReadingGroupChoices.com

CONVERSATION STARTERS

  1. How would you describe life within an itinerant tribe? What intrigues you about this kind of existence? Would you be cut out for the harsh realities of desert life?

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