Friday, September 24, 2010

Granta Does An Entire Issue on Pakistan

Hello Again, Friend of a Friend,

I Knew You When

Our Common Goal Was Waiting For The World To End

Now That The Truth is Just a Rule That You Can Bend

You Crack the Whip, Shapeshifting Trick, The Past Again

Granta, a literary magazine, has done an entire issue on Pakistan. I was touched. Then I read Kamila Shamsie's description of her adolescence in Karachi during the late 80's and really early nineties, when Pakistani pop exploded onto the scene. It's a story she's heard and read a million times over, from so many of us; and *she* had the chance to tell it to the entire world. It's a beautiful story; called Pop Idols. If you're from Pakistan and can read English, it just might be your story, too.

The observations on generations is insightful and appealing, and the journey she makes to recognising Nusrat Fateh Ali, Abida Parveen and Arif Lohar, albeit in her twenties, is something that a lot of formerly adolescent Pakistanis, are embarassingly familiar with.

Now there's a new generation of songsters coming up. Natasha Khan, aka Bats For Lashes, is one who's bypassed the pop route to go straight into profoundly beautiful music:

"Daniel" is nice but if you want Bat For Lashes at her best, it's got to be her cutesy/creepy song "What's a Girl To Do"

I think I'm going to buy this issue of Granta.

Granta: Pakistan from Granta magazine on Vimeo.

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