ATP Reads: Your Favorite Books on Pakistan

Posted on January 26, 2010
Filed Under >Adil Najam, Books
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Adil Najam

We at ATP like books. Over the last many months we have featured and discussed a number of books that relate to Pakistan in various ways.

In the Name of HonorIn the Line of FireA Mighty HeartCharlie Wilson's WarShameful FlightFriends not MastersThe Sole SpokesmanPakistans DriftJinnah by WolpertGrieving ShiasJehlum: City of VitastaEdhiPortrait of a Giving CommunityBetween Mosque and MilitaryEqbal AhmedThree Cups of Tea

I must confess that I had always hoped that we would talk more about books than we have. I hope we will be able to do so in the future. As a step towards that goal, we would like to invite our readers to share with us your suggestions of books on Pakistan that are worth reading.

This is not a popularity contest. We have no awards to give. We merely want to collate a list of books on Pakistan that people consider to be interesting reads. Specially those that you would consider recommending to others for whatever reason.

We have only two criteria:

  • First, that the books you suggest must be about Pakistan, and significantly so. We, of course, realize that many Pakistanis read many books that are not about Pakistan, but the focus of this blog is not only on ‘All’ Things Pakistan, but also ‘Only’ things about Pakistan.
  • Second, for the purpose of this first exercise please restrict your suggestions to books in the English language. This is a pragmatic, and not an ideological, criteria. The universe of books in Urdu is much larger – especially when one includes works of fiction and poetry – and hopefully we will have a separate exercise on those. For now, we wish to start small by focusing only on English language books.

The plan right now is to make this post and list a standing feature and to keep adding to it as readers share their suggestions and ideas. Hopefully this will be a useful service to those interested in Pakistan and Pakistaniat.

138 responses to “ATP Reads: Your Favorite Books on Pakistan”

  1. april says:

    I haven’t read the entire comprehensive comment thread, so these may be repeats. Still, i see that you have Abbas’ Pakistan’s Drift Into Extremism listed here, and that happens to be a text that my Pakistan-born professor chose for our Nation and Literature class this semester. Our other required readings include:

    Sidhwa’s Cracking India
    Suleri’s Meatless Days
    Khan’s Trespassing
    Shamsie’s Kartography
    Naqvi’s Homeboy

    And, finally, The Pakistaniat is listed under our required texts. I have to be honest: this website is my favorite required reading so far.

  2. Jamshed says:

    “The Lighter Side Of The Power Game” by Air Marshal Asghar Khan,a slim volume of anecdotes.Among those making an appearance in its pages are Ayub Khan,Bhutto and the Shah of Iran.

  3. Jamshed says:

    Christina Lamb’s “Waiting for Allah” is a somewhat cynical book. But she does manage to travel extensively in Pakistan and visits many remote areas.She also talks to most of the major political figures in Pakistan.Particularly interesting is her exploration of ethnic violence in Karachi.

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