The Wandering Falcon (Hardcover)
Riverhead Books, 9781594488276, 243pp.
Publication Date: October 13, 2011
October 2011 Indie Next List
— Robert Sindelar, Third Place Books, Lake Forest Park, WA
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Traditions that have lasted for centuries, both brutal and beautiful, create a rigid structure for life in the wild, astonishing place where Iran, Pakistan, and Afghanistan meet-the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). It is a formidable world, and the people who live there are constantly subjected to extremes-of place and of culture.
"The Wandering Falcon" begins with a young couple, refugees from their tribe, who have traveled to the middle of nowhere to escape the cruel punishments meted out upon those who transgress the boundaries of marriage and family. Their son, Tor Baz, descended from both chiefs and outlaws, becomes "The Wandering Falcon," a character who travels among the tribes, over the mountains and the plains, into the towns and the tents that constitute the homes of the tribal people. The media today speak about this unimaginably remote region, a geopolitical hotbed of conspiracies, drone attacks, and conflict, but in the rich, dramatic tones of a master storyteller, this stunning, honor-bound culture is revealed from the inside.
Jamil Ahmad has written an unforgettable portrait of a world of custom and compassion, of love and cruelty, of hardship and survival, a place fragile, unknown, and unforgiving.