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Burnt Shadows - Kamila Shamsie

Burnt Shadows - Kamila Shamsie

Title: Burnt Shadows

Author:  Kamila Shamsie

ISBN:  9780747597070

Weight:  917g

Lined and dated signed first edition, first printing



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Our price:  £47.50

Burnt Shadows by Kamila Shamsie

In a prison cell in the US, a man stands trembling, naked, fearfully waiting to be shipped to Guantánamo Bay.  How did it come to this? he wonders…

August 9th, 1945, Nagasaki.  Hiroko Tanaka steps out onto her veranda, taking in the view of the terraced slopes leading up to the sky.  Wrapped in a kimono with three black cranes swooping across the back, she is twenty-one, in love with the man she is to marry, Konrad Weiss.

In a split second, the world turns white.  In the next, it explodes with the sound of fire and the horror of realisation.  In the numbing aftermath of a bomb that obliterates everything she has known, all that remains are the bird-shaped burns on her back, an indelible reminder of the world she has lost.

In search of new beginnings, she travels to Delhi two years later.  There she walks into the lives of Konrad’s half-sister, Elizabeth, her husband James Burton, and their employee Sajjad Ashraf, from whom she starts to learn Urdu.

As the years unravel, new homes replace those left behind and old wars are seamlessly usurped by new conflicts.  But the shadows of history – personal, political – are cast over the entwined worlds of the Burtons, Ashrafs and the Tanakas as they are transported from Pakistan to New York, and in the novel’s astonishing climax, to Afghanistan in the immediate wake of 9/11.  The ties that have bound them together over decades and generations are tested to the extreme, with unforeseeable consequences.

Sweeping in its scope and mesmerising in its evocation of time and place, Burnt Shadows is an epic narrative of disasters evaded and confronted, loyalties offered and repaid, and loves rewarded and betrayed.

Shortlisted for the prestigious Orange Prize for Fiction, Kamila Shamsie’s Burnt Shadows is an enthralling metacultural epic.

Peer & Press Reviews

Burnt Shadows is a historical novel for our times.  Kamila Shamsie reaches across races, decades and continents.  She is, as Salman Rushdie says on the cover, “a writer of immense ambition”.  I read it with admiration for her historical imagination.

Charlotte Moore, Telegraph

The most ambitious novel yet by this talented writer.  In Burnt Shadows, Kamila Shamsie casts her imagination far and wide.

Mohsin Hamid

Through its succession of seemingly disparate, acutely observed worlds, Burnt Shadows reveals the impact of shared histories, hinting at larger tragedies through individual loss.

Maya Jaggi, Guardian

Bibliographic Info

Attribute Details
Title: Burnt Shadows
Book Features
Edition / printing: First edition, first printing
Edition background: Shamsie signed, lined and dated this book at a Free the Word (A celebration of world literature) event held at the Underglobe, London, on Saturday 18 April 2009.
Overall condition: Fine / Fine (see our article on Condition Grades)
Signed: On the title page
Lined: In a split second the world turns white.  In the next, it explodes with the sound of fire.
Dated: 18 April, 2009
Ephemera: Unsigned Free the Word brochure, bookmark and postcard.
Book Stats
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Awards and prizes:

Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards 2010 – winner

Orange Prize for Fiction 2009 – shortlist

Publication date:
Printed by: Clays Ltd, Bungay
ISBN 13: 9780747597070
ISBN 10: 0747597073
Format: Hardcover with dust jacket
Pages: 363
Size (h x w x d): 241 x 163 x 40mm
Design Credits
Author photograph: Mark Pringle
Jacket design: Kari Brownlie

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