StoryGraph Saturday: The Return of Faraz Ali

StoryGraph Saturday is a weekly thing where I randomly choose a book from my To Read pile on StoryGraph and show it off to remind me that it’s there and to show it to you in case you find it interesting, too.

The Return of Faraz Ali
by Aamina Ahmad
352 pages
Published April, 2022

From The StoryGraph:

Sent back to his birthplace–Lahore’s notorious red-light district–to hush up the murder of a girl, a man finds himself in an unexpected reckoning with his past.

Not since childhood has Faraz returned to the Mohalla, in Lahore’s walled inner city, where women continue to pass down the art of courtesan from mother to daughter. But he still remembers the day he was abducted from the home he shared with his mother and sister there, at the direction of his powerful father, who wanted to give him a chance at a respectable life. Now Wajid, once more dictating his fate from afar, has sent Faraz back to Lahore, installing him as head of the Mohalla police station and charging him with a mission: to cover up the violent death of a young girl.

It should be a simple assignment to carry out in a marginalized community, but for the first time in his career, Faraz finds himself unable to follow orders. As the city assails him with a jumble of memories, he cannot stop asking questions or winding through the walled city’s labyrinthine alleyways chasing the secrets–his family’s and his own–that risk shattering his precariously constructed existence.

Profoundly intimate and propulsive, The Return of Faraz Ali is a spellbindingly assured first novel that poses a timeless question: Whom do we choose to protect, and at what price?

I happened to see this on one of the ‘new releases’ shelves at my local library the other day, and it sounded intriguing. I would have checked it out then and there, but I had a stack of thick library books to get through already, so I added it to my StoryGraph To Read Pile to keep in mind for later. I don’t know when I’ll get to it, but I hope it’s sooner rather than later.

3 thoughts on “StoryGraph Saturday: The Return of Faraz Ali

  1. This one looks like it has the potential to be an impactful story. At least I hope it is. I don’t believe I’ve read much fiction set in that part of the world, so I’d certainly be open to it.

  2. At its start in 1947, Pakistan was drenched in blood, and since then, it has rarely experienced calm. Partition There have been four wars and many boundary disputes with India. When East Pakistan broke away from the west during the Bangladesh Liberation War, Beginning in 1951, Pakistan has had a number of military coups that have resulted in several decades of military dictatorship. Also, more recently, the Pakistani Taliban’s ascent. Then picture how tens of millions of underprivileged Pakistanis might have been trying to live their lives in peace. The Return of Faraz Ali, Aamina Ahmad’s outstanding debut novel, is set in this environment.

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