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The Book Of Gold Leaves by Mirza Waheed
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The Book Of Gold Leaves (2014)

by Mirza Waheed

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Having received this book as a Goodreads Giveaway book, I was anxious to read this novel, which was described as a love story. As I attempted to read this work, however, I could not get involved in the emotional aspects of the story, and I wondered if my lack of cultural or historical background knowledge prevented me from feeling more than detached regarding the secret meetings and developing relationship between Faiz and Roohi. I kept persevering through the book because the author writes in such descriptive, exacting prose, worthy of an award-winning writer, but perhaps, because of the melancholy nature of the story, I wanted to put it down each time I read. Despite my lack of enthusiasm over the story, I did give it three stars because I felt that this novel was a worthy read, just not my ‘cup of tea.’ ( )
  haymaai | Feb 25, 2015 |
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Epigraph
Dedication
To Mirza Nisar Ali (Chacha) who gave me my comics, books, politics and dreams
First words
The light-bulb in the room is of low voltage.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0241968100, Paperback)

Mirza Waheed's extraordinary new novel The Book of Gold Leaves is a heartbreaking love story set in war-torn Kashmir. In an ancient house in the city of Srinagar, Faiz paints exquisite Papier Mache pencil boxes for tourists. Evening is beginning to slip into night when he sets off for the shrine. There he finds the woman with the long black hair. Roohi is prostrate before her God. She begs for the boy of her dreams to come and take her away. Roohi wants a love story. An age-old tale of love, war, temptation, duty and choice, The Book of Gold Leaves is a heartbreaking tale of a what might have been, what could have been, if only. "I loved it. The voice is lyrical, to match the beauty of Kashmir, and yet it is tinged with melancholy and grief, as is the story it tells". (Nadeem Aslam (on The Collaborator)). "Waheed's prose burns with the fever of anger and despair; the scenes in the valley are exceptional, conveying, a hallucinatory living nightmare that has become an everyday reality for Kashmiris". (Metro (on The Collaborator)). Mirza Waheed was born and brought up in Kashmir. His debut novel The Collaborator was shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award and the Shakti Bhat Prize, and longlisted for the Desmond Elliott Prize. It was also book of the year for The Telegraph, New Statesman, Financial Times, Business Standard and Telegraph India, among others. Waheed has written for the BBC, The Guardian, Granta, Al Jazeera English and the New York Times. He lives in London.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:06:35 -0400)

In an ancient house in the city of Srinagar, Kashmir, Faiz paints exquisite papier-mache pencil boxes for tourists. Evening is beginning to slip into night when he sets off for the shrine. From a window across the courtyard, Roohi, the girl with long black hair, watches him. Roohi has been waiting for him, waiting for a love story. A letter will be written, a message will be delivered, a meeting in secret will be arranged. And so the love story begins. But the city is simmering with violent rebellion, and it is only a matter of time before Srinagar is engulfed by the gathering storm and the fate of the secret lovers becomes terrifyingly uncertain.… (more)

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