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The Return of Faraz Ali

Paperback / ISBN-13: 9781529356038

Price: £9.99

ON SALE: 2nd February 2023

Genre: Fiction & Related Items

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WINNER OF THE WRITERS’ GUILD OF GREAT BRITAIN BEST FIRST NOVEL AWARD

SHORTLISTED FOR THE GORDON BOWKER VOLCANO AND MCKITTERICK PRIZES

‘A stunning debut novel – a noir-inspired thriller that weaves in politics, family ties, corruption and murder,
while also being sharp about different kinds of power, particularly as it relates to women’‘ Kamila Shamsie

‘A rich and deeply moving novel about confronting histories both personal and political . . . Marvellous’ Yaa Gyasi

Pakistan, 1968. As riots erupt in the streets of Lahore, Inspector Faraz Ali returns to his birthplace, the red-light district in the walled inner city. Wrested from it as a child by his powerful father to be raised by a respectable family, Faraz has hidden his roots ever since. Now his father has sent him back: to cover up the murder of a young courtesan.

It should be a simple task, but for once Faraz finds himself unable to obey orders – nor can he resist searching for the mother and sister he left behind. Chasing after answers that risk shattering his precariously constructed existence, Faraz is unaware that his sister also faces a return to the old city, and to the life she
thought she had escaped.

‘A layered, fascinating portrait of a fractured family and of Pakistan’ Antonia Senior, The Times

‘A gripping read that does not let you go, even after the end’ Maaza Mengiste

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Reviews

A gripping read - everything beautifully evoked, from the alleys of the Old City to the atmosphere of corruption and secrets
Kamila Shamsie
Aamina Ahmad has done the impossible: made her literary debut with an enduring classic. Essential and compelling.
Adam Johnson
A rich and deeply moving novel about confronting histories both personal and political . . . Marvellous
Yaa Gyasi
In The Return of Faraz Ali, Aamina Ahmad moves across borders and through decades to create a mesmerizing portrayal of crimes and coverups in the walled-off world of Lahore's red-light district. That a novel so epic in scope can remain so intimate at heart is nothing short of astonishing.
Anthony Marra
The Return of Faraz Ali heralds the arrival of a strikingly accomplished and mature talent. Aamina Ahmad has managed to meld fast-paced, intelligent noir with a devastating portrait of the true costs of ambition and desire. A gripping read that does not let you go, even after the end.
Maaza Mengiste
This novel has everything a reader could ask for: a sizzling, noirlike plot; political intrigue juxtaposed with a rich intergenerational family saga; capacious, conflicted characters, including women who may be marginalized by society but are masters of their own narratives; and sublime sentences. A debut novelist, Ahmad manages this complexity seamlessly. A feat of storytelling not to be missed.
Kirkus
A layered, fascinating portrait of a fractured family and of Pakistan. An impressive, gripping debut
Antonia Senior, The Times
Stunning, not only on account of the author's talent, of which there is clearly plenty, but also in its humanity, in how a book this unflinching in its depiction of class and institutional injustice can still feel so tender . . . The fullness of the characters and their intersecting lives make this far more than a murder mystery . . . Ahmad's compassion, her deep care for the psychological and emotional nuances of her characters, never wavers . . . It extends through generations and transformations of place, all the way to a devastating final chapter, fully human, fully engaged with what makes us human
Omar El Akkad, New York Times Book Review
A stunning debut novel - a noir-inspired thriller that weaves in politics, family ties, corruption and murder, while also being sharp about different kinds of power, particularly as it relates to women.
Kamila Shamsie, Best Summer Books, Observer
A riveting exploration of the dangers of patriarchy, politics and power.
Monocle
Extraordinarily accomplished . . . . This is a great novel, rich in setting, shocking in its depiction of brute, inexorable power, but unexpectedly sweet in conclusion.
The Washington Post
The Return of Faraz Ali is a masterpiece. An intricately woven, deeply affecting labyrinth of history, hope, and longing that fulfils its every great ambition. I'm stunned by the gentle grace and spellbinding storytelling of Aamina, a writer I will return to for years to come.
Fatima Farheen Mirza
It starts out as a crime novel . . . and then evolves into so much more . . . come for the evocative writing, the subtle characters, and plot - some of which veered in completely unexpected territory.
NPR
Dark and compelling, this debut novel is one of secrets, murder and loyalty. It's one that will stay with you.
Ms Magazine