- Published on Tuesday, 29 January 2013 00:00
- Category: Literature
From hard-hitting political commentary to deeply resonating fiction, there is something for everyone in 2013. Middle Eastern and South Asian writers and historians are tackling everything from politics to romance this year, and we’re taking note. Here are our top five books to watch out for in 2013:
David Rohde- Reuterscolumnist, two-time Pulitzer Prize winner and former reporter for The New York Times- takes eleven years of reporting and synthesizes it into a gripping account of U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East—starting with 9/11 and ending with the end of the Arab Spring, he looks into what went wrong, what could have gone right, and what can be done now. The evolving nature of war is the basis for Rohde’s stirring call for change in America’s tumultuous and complicated relationship with the Middle East.
Brokers of Deceit: How the U.S. Has Undermined Peace in the Middle East by Rashid Khalidi
Using three key historical moments—the 1982 “Reagan Plan,” the time period between the Madrid Peace Conference and the signing of the Oslo accords, and President Obama’s decision to not insist on halting settlements in the Middle East—Columbia University History professor Rashid Khalidi analyzes the role America has played in the lack of a peace agreement between Israel and Palestine, as well as the subjugation of the Palestinian people. Thoroughly researched and unflinchingly critical, Khalidi doesn’t sugarcoat his thoughts—which is exactly why, as The New Yorker’s Seymour Hersh says, “This is an important book.”
How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia: A Novel by Mohsin Hamid
Already cited as one of 2013’s most anticipated novels by The Daily Beast, Vogue, The Nation, and The Guardian, critically acclaimed novelist Mohsin Hamid has readers at the edge of their seats for his first novel since 2007’s international bestseller, The Reluctant Fundamentalist. A business self-help book disguises a deeply moving story that follows the rise of its protagonist from impoverished rural boy to corporate tycoon. Social commentary meets emotional love story in the shape of a self-help guide, resulting in a powerful piece of work that reminds us why Mohsin Hamid is one of the finest writers of our time.
The First Muslim: The Story of Muhammad by Lesley Hazleton
Writer and reporter Lesley Hazleton combines painstaking research with a compellingly readable writing style to tell the story of Muhammad, the prophet of Islam. Hazleton’s insight and research adds a powerful layer of complexity to what you think you may know about Muhammad—by combining early eyewitness accounts with historical, political, and religious sources, she paints a dynamic and multi-dimensional portrait of a prophet who is as beloved as he is misunderstood. Author and philosopher Dr. Cornel West praises Hazleton for “respectfully humaniz[ing] the inimitable prophet of Islam and see[ing] him whole.”
New South Asian Feminisms: Paradoxes and Possibilities edited by Srila Roy
A rape case in Delhi soon turned into a global outcry against gender-based violence, bringing South Asian feminism to the forefront of public debate. This timely volume, edited by Sociology lecturer Srila Roy, compiles writings from young scholars to provide an unprecedented exploration of the current state of feminist politics. A “new wave” of South Asian feminists attempt to re-think the feminist political agenda in a way that not only outlines regional predicaments, but will also resonate with feminists and gender-studies academics across the globe.