Writing is such art by which the culture, traditions, political values and all other things about a country or a nation can be brought to the spotlight. If we consider our country, Pakistan is blessed with a number of great writers who highlighted a lot of social issues of the society in a constructive way.
There are a number of Pakistani writers highly read and liked on both national and international levels. Here, we have compiled for you, the most notable and award-winning books written by the most influential writers of Pakistan. Let’s take a review of them.
- MY FEUDAL LORD BY TEHMINA DURRANI
Tehmina Durrani is a well-known writer and artist. Later, she also started working for the rights of women and children. Her terrible experience of marriage with a landlord and politician, Ghulam Mustafa Khar, forced her to speak up about the women oppression by conservative counterparts. Later, after her divorce, she got married to Mr. Shahbaz Sharif.
Her debut book, titled “My Feudal Lord,” was released in 1991. It was published by ‘Vanguard Books,’ which was founded by a well-known media figure named ‘Najam Sethi.’ The book quickly became a top seller, since it rattled people all around the world, not just in Pakistan.
The writer highlighted the behavior of influential chauvinist males and specifically the landlords of tribal areas towards the women. She tried to expose the cruelties and abuse women are forced to live with.
The book in no time won a number of awards. The book was translated into 40 languages. It was one of the most read books with 339 reviews and 4179 ratings.
2. A CASE OF EXPLODING MANGOES BY MUHAMMAD HANIF
M Hanif is a well-known writer whose work is published in newspapers like The Washington Post, The New York Times and The Daily Telegraph. He got a number of awards for his writing work including Sitara e Imtiaz by the Government of Pakistan, the Guardian First Book Award for ‘A Case of Exploding Mangoes’ and the Welcome Book Prize for ‘Our lady of Alice Bhatti’.
Published in the year 2008, the book ‘A Case of Exploding Mangoes’ is a type of historical fiction. The author in his book started with the incident of the plane crash of General Zia ul Haq, the country’s ex-president.
In the author’s opinion, the incident was not an accident but preplanned in order to take revenge on Zia. The role of superpower America in the Asian region is also described vis-a-vis agitating rebellion.
The president’s Islamization is also discussed in an ironic way in the book. With the rating of 10,101 and 1076 reviews, the book was read by a great number of people and received overall constructive criticism.
3. HOME FIRE BY KAMILLA SHAMSIE
Born in Karachi, Kamilla Shamsie is a well-known writer whose genre is fiction. The author holds both Pak and British nationality. The book ‘Home Fire’ is the one that catapulted her to the heights of fame as a writer. Some of her other writings include Broken Verses, Kartography, Salt and Saffron, Burnt Shadows, and A God in Every Stone.
With a rating of 49,112 and 5,363 reviews, the Home Fire in no time became the highly read and award-winning book of K. Shamsie. In the novel, the author narrates the story of Pasha’s family who was three siblings. Father worked for ISIS in Syria.
Brother among three also joined that and despite all the efforts of her twin sister to bring him back, he died there. The eldest sister Isma is portrayed as the one compromising her career for the sibling.
Aneeka, the younger sister’s love of life was Karamat Lone, who in order to achieve political success, denied his religion, Islam. In the end both the lovers died in a terrorist attack. The novel depicts deep emotions leaving their readers in the gloom. Also, it brought the challenges to the spotlight that Muslims have to face to make their identity in some non-Muslim world.
4. KARTOGRAPHY BY KAMILLA SHAMSIE
Living in Karachi, Pakistan, Raheen, and Karim have been friends since they were children in Karachi, Pakistan. Their mothers and fathers are great friends. The story recounts their growing connection in the 1980s and early 1990s, interwoven with glimpses to their parents’ experiences before and after their marriage in 1971, the year East Pakistan split from West Pakistan and formed Bangladesh.
Karim gets extremely interested in comprehending Karachi’s ethnic tensions, brutality and fraud as they grow into adulthood, whereas Raheen withdraws. Because of their parents’ wealth, these youngsters have been quite protected from negative consequences. It is a love story with treachery and reconciliation. The author highlighted all the characters in a beautiful style of writing.
Karachi becomes a figure in its own way throughout the story. The plot is driven by a big secret: both the lead character’s mother was formerly engaged to the dad of the other leading character. It’s a “literary adventure,” but with a strong focus on the characters. The main topics revolve around emotional struggles about homes and how historical events affect people’s lives. The book was liked and got a rating of 3,221 with 301 reviews.
5. THE RELUCTANT FUNDAMENTALIST BY MOHSIN HAMID
The author Mohsin Hamid is a famous Pak-Brit novel writer. He achieved a number of awards for his writings. Some of his famous writing include Moth smoke, Exit West and The Reluctant Fundamentalist. Only The Reluctant Fundamentalist receives the Ambassador Book Award, Anisfield Book Award and the Asian American literary award.
Published in the year 2007, the novel received 70,912 ratings and 6,447 people reviewed it. The story begins when in the locality of Lahore, an American return Pakistani, named Changez and an American interacted with each other. The local started narrating his life in America to the stranger in which he talked about his successful professional life and failed love life.
Then he mentioned that how he was forced to face the typical doubts of Americans towards Pakistanis. Also, he told him about his being fired from the job and return to Pakistan where he started teaching. He became prominent for commenting on the aggressive military system of the US openly. The man now seems to have a gun with him.
The novel ends in a mystery of whether the American had a gun and was there to murder Changez or the Changez decided to do everything to do some harm to the stranger.
6. HOW TO GET FILTHY RICH IN RISING ASIA BY MOHSIN HAMID
This whole piece of writing by Mohsin Hamid is written in a specific style narrating the second person’s story. You will find no character names and target country names specified but yet the essence of the story remains from start to the end. It is a kind of self-help book but not in a way giving stern instructions about certain things but dark aspects are highlighted with a comic touch.
The book received 19,818 ratings and was reviewed 2493 times. It is about the journey of a young boy from a small village to a city. There he came across the love of his life who is named the pretty girl in the whole novel. The author has portrayed the villagers as the ones realizing the true value of education that leads them to success. The boy’s father wanted the same for him.
When it comes to working, the main character takes a bunch of changes. From just being a DVD delivery person to an undergraduate to a young fellow re-labeling and marketing outdated packaged food to his ultimate jump as a businessman into a mineral water firm, that also symbolizes his journey into fortune, he has a substantial record. Despite this, nothing appears to have changed.
The style is sophisticated, and Hamid examines the sharp gap between the village and urban life objectively. The most attractive part of the book is that the lead character while being in a variety of situations, does not seem pathetic. His downfall is just as inevitable as his ascent.
7. RAJA GIDH BY BANO QUDSIA
The name of Bano Qudsia needs no introduction when it comes to a great spiritual writer of Pakistan. She used to pen down novels, dramas and playwrights. One of her most famous novels that are still read by people of all ages is Raja Gidh.
She received a number of awards for her literary works. Some of her prominent works after Raja Gidh are ‘Adhi Baat’, ‘Haasil ghaat’, and ‘Ek din Hawa k naam’. The novel Raja Gidh was published in the year 1981 by the Sang e Meel publication. It was a highly readable book with being reviewed by 246 people and received 2,711 ratings.
The novel starts with a campus sociology lesson and a forest meeting of birds. The writer tries to figure out what causes mental illness and aberration, which leads to suicidal thoughts. At the conclusion, the writer explains the issue, which is haram income, or stuff that we take overtly or covertly.
Because of the aspect of consuming forbidden, the author equates a vulture to a human individual. Finally, a full distinction is made between aberration and remarkably normal, or, to put it another way, between insanity that results from earning money and eating halal food or living a halal lifestyle vs insanity that results from getting money and spending a haram lifestyle.
8. SHAHAB NAMA BY QUDRATULLAH SHAHAB
Qudratullah Shahab besides serving as a civil servant worked as a literary writer as well. He had a passion for writing since his teenage. He wrote a number of books including Nafsane, Maa gee, Pathans and Shahab Nama. Shahab Nama, the autobiography of the author, was the most famous among all of his writings.
The book was reviewed 180 times with 2,211 ratings. Shahabnama describes the dominance wielded by the bureaucracy’s inner sanctum before and after the establishment of Pakistan. Shahab in this autobiography describes the philosophical views that were related to himself.
Because these were his carefree years, the opening 200 chapters of this autobiography are lighthearted and cheerful. His childhood in Kashmir, his earliest crush, his initial accomplishment, the time he spent in Lahore, and the time he lost the love of his life.
The section detailing poverty before the Bengal separation was by far the most distressing theme of the novel, making readers shiver in disdain at humankind. The historical incidents before the separation of the sub-continent are well compiled in the book.
9. ZAVIYAH BY ASHFAQ AHMED
Ashfaq Ahmed, a well-known name of Pakistan as an intellectual and philosophical writer. He was also famous for the name ‘Ashfaq Baba’ due to his simplicity and spiritual thoughts. Some of his writing works include ‘Man Chalay ka Sauda’, ‘Band Gali’, ‘Nangey Paon’ and ‘Zaviya’.
Zawiya is undoubted, one of the great assets we have. It is actually a compilation of programs, Ashfaq Ahmed used to do on Pakistan Television. He was a person who with the help of his writings, brought social issues to light. Also, through his words, he paved the way to make reforms in resolving these concerns.
In his book, he made a keen observation on the life of a layman and pen down his problems in quite a simple style. Using his immense knowledge of science, spirituality, and psychology, he wrote on the issues like depression, man’s existence in the past and future rather than in present and much more.
It was greatly liked by a lot of people, highly read with 1,721 ratings. Humanity and kindness to other fellow beings are the main themes influencing the book.