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Summary

Hasan is 11 years old. He loves cricket, pomegranates, the night sky, his clever, vibrant artistic mother and his etymologically obsessed lawyer father, and he adores his next-door neighbour Zehra.

One early summer morning, while lazing happily on the roof, Hasan watches a young boy flying a yellow kite fall to his death. Soon after, Hasan's idyllic, sheltered family life is shattered when his beloved uncle Salman, a dissenting politician, is arrested and charged with treason.

Set in a land ruled by an oppressive military regime, this eloquent, charming and quietly political novel vividly recreates the confusing world of a young boy on the edge of adulthood, and beautifully illustrates the transformative power of the imagination.

Kamila Shamsie was born in 1973 in Pakistan. She is the author of five novels: In the City by the Sea, Kartography (both shortlisted for the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize), Salt and Saffron, Broken Verses, and Burnt Shadows (shortlisted for the 2009 Orange Prize). In 1999 she received the Prime Minister's Award for Literature and in 2004 the Patras Bokhari Award - both awarded by the Pakistan Academy of Letters. Kamila Shamsie lives in London.

©1998 Kamila Shamsie (P)2014 Audible Ltd

Critic reviews

"A colourful and peripatetic view of politics in Pakistan... an interesting and promising novel" ( Guardian)
"A touching and engrossing story... an assured debut" ( The Times)
"Full of fun, longing and wit... a debut of spirit and imagination, loaded with intelligent charm" (Ali Smith, Scotsman)
"A touching and engrossing story... an assured debut." ( The Times)
"Full of fun, longing, and wit...a debut of spirit and imagination, loaded with intelligent charm." (Ali Smith, Scotsman)

What listeners say about In the City by the Sea

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Beautifully crafted story

Whilst I enjoyed the gloriously descriptive narrative, I found the story somewhat difficult to follow.

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Highly recommended!!

A clever & insightful, yet thoroughly entertaining book. A child's-eye view of the world, politics & people gives a different perspective to a heavy and deep subject: in a questioning, humorous and reflective way. I love the sense of humour & life in the characters and how this challenges the prevailing & limited portrayal of this country in western media (not least the female authorship).
I cannot wait to start on the rest of Kamala Shamsie's books. Highly, highly recommended.

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