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Shamal Days

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A middle-aged bachelor heading the editorial at a newspaper in an imagined country in the Arabian... Read More

Product Description

A middle-aged bachelor heading the editorial at a newspaper in an imagined country in the Arabian Gulf, Abbas is beset by loneliness and the attendant regret - a life punctuated by ifs and maybes, and the dreariness of the dry and dusty shamal winds. Presented with the opportunity to finally bring about change in his life, will indecision get the better of him or will he be able to steer his life away from his less-than-beautiful reality?

Set in the 1990s, with the escalating violence in West Asia serving as a backdrop, this is the story of Abbas and of the small newsroom that brings together people - from different backgrounds and with individual stories but shared editorial goof-ups - to a country built and run by the expatriate workforce.

Shamal Days is a whimsical, ironic take on the aspirations and resentments of expatriate life in a tiny desert country and on the political unrest in the region.

‰Û÷A magical tale that rings true, set in the Arab lands ‰ÛÒ a land of stories.‰۪ ‰ÛÒ Benyamin, author of Goat Days and Jasmine Days, and winner of the JCB Prize for Literature 2018

‰Û÷In this study of aloneness, caused as much by one‰۪s isolation in an unfamiliar land as it is by making a living in the production of news, Sabin Iqbal gives us a history of the Indian in West Asia that I have not encountered in the Indian English novel. It is told with what is rare today ‰ÛÒ the energy of honesty, and affection for those left outside the news.‰۪ ‰ÛÒ Sumana Roy, author of Missing and How I Became a Tree

‰Û÷In this coming-to-terms-with-life story, Sabin has, in this condensation of images into words, invited the reader into a behind- and beyond-the-headlines prism of human happenings. Sabin gifts us with a motif: the Shamal ‰ÛÒ legendary northwesterly wind the book is named after ‰ÛÒ that presides over the Gulf region where the story is set.

‰Û÷Abbas, our protagonist, is an editor at a small newspaper, the Gulf Mirror. And the publication is the perch from where, with trenchant clarity, he observes and experiences the world. Abbas is just one of the many drawn to a place that is a magnet for those in pursuit of their dreams and opportunities.

‰Û÷Through Abbas, the reader is invited into an excursion into the labyrinths of human striving, seeking and desiring that disrupt the human idyll. He speaks of loving and losing, revealing how choices often yield consequences that reverberate through time, memory and lives. Hope, love, loss, tragedy, decay and death are woven into the mosaic of Sabin‰۪s ‰ÛÏpotpourri of cultures‰۝.

‰Û÷Shamal Days has been imagined by a thoughtful storyteller who poignantly gestures to our rather bleak age with its soul-consuming but still entrancing stories that sweep through and, somehow, still keep the world dreaming.‰۪ ‰ÛÒ Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor, author of Dust and The Dragonfly Sea, and winner of the 2003 Caine Prize for African Writing

‰Û÷Sabin Iqbal‰۪s Shamal Days immerses the reader in Abbas‰۪s personal and private struggles, playing out against the searing backdrop of the Gulf. Atmospheric and keenly observed, this novel is an intriguing and insightful read.‰۪ ‰ÛÒ Shashi Tharoor, author of The Great Indian Novel and winner of the Sahitya Akademi Prize 2019

‰Û÷A page-turner of a novel, Shamal Days steeps the reader in a gripping story of politics, sex, betrayal, secrets and lost dreams. Sabin Iqbal brings clarity to many untold histories of the Gulf and the region‰۪s shifting fortunes over many years, while personal alliances and intimacies hauntingly play out against the scenario of the newspaper world inhabited by his characters.‰۪ ‰ÛÒ Margaret Busby, Chair, Booker Prize jury 2020

Product Details

Title: Shamal Days
SKU: BK0451931
EAN: 9789354227080
Language: English
Binding: Paperback

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