TRAVEL & GEOGRAPHY

Stranger to History: A Son’s Journey Through Islamic Lands

. November 2012. 352p. 978-1-55597-628-6. 16.
COPY ISBN
Journalist and novelist Taseer (Noon) was raised in Delhi by his Sikh mother, and did not know his Pakistani father until he was 21. Father and son struggled with a relationship complicated by their religious and cultural differences. He details his journey through Istanbul, Damascus, Mecca, Iran, and his father’s home city of Lahore, Pakistan. Part travel narrative and part memoir, the work provides an insightful look at Islam as a cultural and political force. The years since this book’s original publication in 2009 in the United Kingdom have seen many events that changed the work’s context: the Green Revolution in Iran, the Arab Spring, and, most heartbreakingly, the political assassination of Taseer’s father in 2011. This edition includes a new introduction by the author reflecting on his father’s death and the meaning of his book in light of all these events.
VERDICT This well-constructed travel memoir offers subtle political insight, well-drawn characters, lush detail, and poignant personal narrative. A welcome blend of journalism, travel writing, and memoir; strongly recommended.

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