We were delighted to find Mirza Waheed's beautiful novel, THE BOOK OF GOLD LEAVES taking pride of place in last Wednesday's Stylist within The Style List. And they're not the only ones to championing this "dazzling and heart-breaking story set in war-torn Kashmir".
"The effect of this tense novel is cumulative, its sense of dread rising until the nightmarish finale; a communal outpouring of grief in which Waheed locates an incredible defiance. "People are expected to be dead at night, to rise again only when the curfew ends," he writes. "But people have defied curfews before. In moments of anger, in moments of unbearable grief, or when it simply doesn't matter whether you live or not." Kashmir, a conflict remembering mostly for being forgotten, badly needs storytellers like Waheed. He writes about war with a devastating and unflinching calm, with the melancholy wisdom of someone attuned to but never hardened by its horrors."
The Guardian, Chitra Ramaswamy, 1st Nov
"...Waheed's talent also lies in the vivid, convincing detail he brings to descriptions of everyday lives, however surreal their circumstances. As in The Collaborator, the careful meshing of domestic intimacy with political events is done deftly, with integrity. Like his great-grandfather's gold painting, Waheed's work will undoubtedly endure; in this case as a haunting illustration of how, at the end of the last century, normal life became impossible for many of those who called Kashmir home."
The Financial Times Alice Albinia 24th October
Buy the book here.