In her critically acclaimed second novel, Salt and Saffron (), Kamila Shamsie followed an idealistic young Pakistani woman as she discovered that class. The trauma of war is typically gauged by loss of lives and property, not broken hearts, but the microcosm is often as powerful an indicator of loss. Impassioned and touching, KARTOGRAPHY is a love song to Karachi. In her extraordinary new novel, Kamila Shamsie shows us that whatever happens in the .

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Shamsie is the daughter of literary critic and writer Muneeza Shamsiethe niece of celebrated Indian novelist Attia Hosainand the granddaughter of the memoirist Begum Jahanara Habibullah. The strong bond of friendship between these two groups of friends and a huge transformation due to changing circumstances, both in the past and present, the nature and intensity of their love, their changing nature and personalities, all with such precision just melts into a complete beauty.

The Photography of Trauma. Living in the better part of town, the four friends are somewhat shielded from the violence. A ghost is said to haunt a tree where Shaamsie father—once engaged to Karim’s mother—carved their initials long ago.

Kartography by Kamila Shamsie

I could not’ve read this in a single sitti Ever eat something that was so good, you had to take breaks, slow down, remember to stop to breathe because it was just so rich or delicious that you just couldn’t take it too quickly?

I am done, done and done with this novel and can’t just stop being thankful to the friend who suggested it to me. Kartography is an easy novel to fall in love with, perhaps a tad bit difficult to stay in love. And maybe 5 years later was a good time to read it, after all.


It is unattractively witty. A recommended read for anyone who has spent life in Karachi. Raheen struggles to untangle her parents’ kwrtography which is colliding with her own world.

Love, betrayal, sacrifice… and humour

No trivia or quizzes yet. On the other hand, maps are the illustrators of stories, which describe the heartbeat of a city, its people and its history.

For those who lived through those years in Karachi, the novel serves as a bittersweet reminder of a difficult time in a beloved city. There are detailed descriptions of the city of Karachi and its never ending violence,but as that is a very familiar subject for me,that too felt rather tiresome. Trauma is not the result of a group experiencing pain.

All in all – this is a gorgeous novel.


And whether or not it was “stray” becomes an important plot point. This violence—and the lingering legacy of the civil war of —is the backdrop for the story of Raheen and Karim, a girl and boy raised together in the kartobraphy and ’80s, whose lives are shattered when a family secret is revealed.

I am grateful for that bit of history because I didn’t know anything about it before. A must read for karachi lovers away from home. May 14, Susanne Escher rated it it was amazing.

Shamsie builds up a crescendo that is enticing, making the reader desperate to know why Karim’s mother and Raheen’s father broke up, why they remained close friends and why this knowledge ultimately repels Karim away from Raheen.

As though you never touched Zia -Zafar did something in the past? Kartography is the first book ive ever read that encapsulates so very perfectly my life and relationship with my city and the people around me. The characters were believable, easy to relate with. I don’t know what it is but I can’t seem to be getting enough of her work.


Karachi is just as important to the story as the two main characters, Raheen and Karim.

I think if you are from a city that goes through chaos like Karachi does – then this book will sing to you. There was a memory beginning to resurface, but my heart was beating so loud, so fast, telling me to keep it away. And that is why the book is so brilliant: Once upon a time in Karachi And then, inas Raheen’s father evasively puts it, “the music changed” and they swapped partners.

I read this book 5 years too late, perhaps, 5 years after leaving Karachi. I wonder if we ever going to learn from ?

Kamila Shamsie was born in in Karachi, where she grew up. This in itself covers a lot of issues such as ethnic, religious and iartography prejudices, changing history, redemption, forgiveness, whether one big consequential action defines a person, as well as the concept of love – fate, as a verb, dynamic and everlasting.

Buy from other retailers. Why was he looking to them for an escape when I was right here beside him? Raheen’s father was once engaged to Karim’s mother, and her mother was once kammila to his father, yet the families strangely maintained close ties. More By and About This Author. I am so in love with this tale of human errors, decisions and forgiveness and above all my fav fav topic: When they get older they inevitably harbor feelings for each other but there is something in their shqmsie past that poses a hefty obstacle This was a fairly effortless and enjoyable read.