Reflections on some muslim writers…

Benjamuna's Blog

In my part of the world, muslims are looked upon in a very one dimensional way. We associate muslims with women in burkas, the Koran, mosques, eid, fast, Ramadan. And…. terror. Does people from, say Pakistan, drink alcohol? do they read Shakespeare? do they have any sense of humour??

I always turn to the books, novels in particular, in order to learn about foreign cultures, and have lately read quite a few books by Pakistani authors. My favourite might possibly be Kamila Shamsie. Highly acclaimed “Burnt Shadows” (2009) is translated into Norwegian, but all her previous novels (which I read in succession) are really worthwhile to read. Maybe more so than “Burnt Shadows”…


Shamsie, and many other Pakistani writers, describes a muslim world we seldom hear about in the news. They describe the elite…. the intellectuals. Those who dance and drink and sing… Those who are in opposition to…

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Finding Colin Firth: A Novel, by Mia March – A Review

Austenprose - A Jane Austen Blog

Finding Colin Firth by Mia March (2013)From the desk of Christina Boyd:

What Janeite would not stop dead in her tracks when she spies “Colin Firth” in the title of a book? Mia March’s latest offering Finding Colin Firth: A Novel certainly set off all my bells and whistles. The smolderingly sexy British actor not only won our hearts when he emerged dripping wet from Pemberley pond as Mr. Darcy in the 1995 adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, but he also has an acclaimed career, winning the best actor Academy Award in 2011 for The King’s Speech. Who wouldn’t want to find Colin Firth? But no, dear friends, this is not a “How to” book sharing tips and advice on how to track and successfully have a Firth encounter. Eeesh! It’s a work of fiction about three women unknowingly bound together and whose lives intersect when the actor is slated to film a movie in…

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Seamus Heaney – Digging and Remembering…

Bookish Nature

My grandfather cut more turf in a day
Than any other man on Toner’s bog.
Once I carried him milk in a bottle
Corked sloppily with paper. He straightened up
To drink it, then fell to right away
Nicking and slicing neatly, heaving sods
Over his shoulder, going down and down
For the good turf. Digging.

The cold smell of potato mould, the squelch and slap
Of soggy peat, the curt cuts of an edge
Through living roots awaken in my head.
But I’ve no spade to follow men like them.

Between my finger and my thumb
The squat pen rests.
I’ll dig with it.

– Extract from Digging, by Seamus Heaney, from Death of a Naturalist (Faber and Faber, 1966)

The leaves on our damson trees are turning yellow; many have fallen already. White butterflies, like wind-blown petals trying to re-attach themselves to the desiccated whiteness of our…

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Althorp House


Althorp House

The Spencer Estate. The final resting place for Princess Diana. The very first place I asked my dear friends to take to me when I was planning my trip.

After a 1.5 hours drive from central London to Northampton; we went from noisy busy world to quiet sunny luscious greens. You know you are very deep inside the countryside when you can hear the popping sounds of pebbles road under the wheels. We rolled down our windows and enjoy the fresh air brushing our faces and we can slowly see a short break wall approaching. This is the surrounding wall of the estate. I was unimpressed about how crude the wall looks, they became “a wall that still stand strong” after I learned that this estate was built in 1688.

We parked the car across the street in an open green field with no end in sight, I…

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