by Jamil Ahmad
Pakistan. 256 pages. Riverhead Hardcover (2011)
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 Lands (FATA). It is a formidable world and the people who live there are constantly subjected to extremes—both of geography 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 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 throughout the tribes, over the mountains and the plains, in the towns and tents that comprise the homes of the tribal people. The media today speak about this unimaginably remote region, a geopolitical hotbed of conspiracies, drone attacks, and conflict—now, told in the rich, dramatic tones of a master storyteller, this stunning, honor-bound culture is revealed from the inside.
The Wandering Falcon is Jamil Ahmad’s harsh and beautiful portrait of a tribal landscape
SHORTLISTED FOR THE MAN ASIAN PRIZE 2011
LONGLISTED FOR THE DSC SOUTH ASIAN PRIZE 2013
About the author:
Jamil Ahmad was born in Jalandhar in 1933. As a member of the Civil Service of Pakistan, he served mainly in the Frontier Province and in Balochistan. He was Political Agent in Quetta, Chaghi, Khyber and Malakand and later, commissioner in Dera Ismail Khan and Swat. He was posted as minister in Pakistan’s embassy in Kabul at a critical time, before and during the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979, and his last assignment in the government was Chief Secretary Balochistan. He lives in Islamabad with his wife, Helga Ahmad.
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