The Wish Maker by Ali Sethi
From the Riverhead Paperback:
A brilliant, enthralling debut novel about a fatherless boy growing up in a family of outspoken women in contemporary Pakistan. The Wish Maker is also a tale of sacrifice, betrayal, and indestructable friendship. Zaki Shirazi and his female cousing Samar Api were raised to consider themselves "part of the same litter". In a household run by Zaki's crusading political journalist mother and iron-willed grandmother, it was impossible to imagine a future that could hold anything different for each of the children. But when adolscenece approaches, their fates diverge, and Zaki is forced to question the meaning of family, selfhood, and commitment to those he loves most.
Chronicling world-changing events that have never been so intimately observed in fiction, and brimming with unmistakable warmth and humor, The Wish Maker is the powerful account of a family and an era, a story that shows how, even in the most rapidly shifting circumstances, there are bonds that survive the tugs of convention, time, and history.
Just Out in paperback from Riverhead Books
Praise from the New York Times:
“[A] first rate novel.... Though distinctly restrained, Sethi’s prose evokes the comic mislocutions of Jonathan Safran Foer and the vertiginous mania of Zadie Smith.”
People Magazine says:
"Much as Khaled Hosseini's The Kite Runner did for Afghanistan, this timely first novel, told through the eyes of a boy grappling with adolescence, brings to life the tumult of Pakistan. "
Ali Sethi in concert at the Jaipur Literature Festival, January 2010