- Hardcover: 280 pages
- Publisher: Juggernaut (30 June 2018)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9789386228741
- ISBN-13: 978-9386228741
- ASIN: 9386228742
- Package Dimensions: 20.7 x 13.8 x 3.3 cm
- Average Customer Review: 40 customer reviews
Amazon Bestsellers Rank:
#17,155 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- #1112 in Contemporary Fiction (Books)
Jasmine Days Hardcover – 30 Jun 2018
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About the Author
Benyamin’s Goat Days won him the Kerala Sahitya Academy Award in 2009 and was shortlisted for the Man Asian Literary Prize and the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature.
Shahnaz Habib has written for the New Yorker and the Guardian and her fiction and essays have been published in the Caravan, Afar and other magazines and collected in anthologies.
From the Publisher
Jasmine Days by Benyamin (Juggernaut Books)
The Story of Radio Jockey Sameera Whose Life Changes When Revolution Strikes
Young Radio Jockey Sameera Parvin from Pakistan immigrates to an unnamed city in the Middle East where she tells the story of the Arab Spring of 2011 in Benyamin’s new novel. Sameera thrives in her job and is the darling of her family, but her happy world starts to fall apart when revolution occurs in the country. As the people's agitation gathers strength, she is forced to choose between family and friends, loyalty and love, life and death.
Jasmine Days was first published in Malayalam in 2014 as Mullappoo Niramulla Pakalukal and then translated into English by Shahnaz Habib.
Benyamin was born 1971 in Nhettur, Kerala. He moved to Bahrain in 1992. Until the age of twenty-one, he knew nothing of literature: “Cricket was my world, better living standards were my aim.” When he reached The Gulf, he felt a loneliness that triggered reading and eventually led to writing: “I began with letters to friends. They accepted my words.” Today he is an author of over twenty books. Aadujeevitham or Goat Days is his most successful novel and has won him the Kerala Sahitya Akademi Award. He returned from the Middle East to his native state of Kerala in 2013, two years after the Arab revolution ended. A former electrical engineer and now a full-time writer, he lives alone and cooks for himself daily: “I feel, and my friends certify, that I have a talent in it too."
Shahnaz Habib teaches writing at The New School and Bay Path University and consults for the United Nations. Born and raised in Kerala, she now lives in New York. When she had just started working on Jasmine Days in Kerala, it attracted much attention. “What is it like to translate Benyamin?” she was often asked. “As a first-time translator, I found this auspicious and intimidating in equal measure,” was her response.
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- Old BookWorm (Jasmine Days)
After reading the book halfway, I googled about the Jasmine Revolution and I got to know it started with the self-immolation of a street vendor in Tunisia, spread to Egypt, Libya and Morocco. In Jasmine Days, the protagonist RJ Sameera Parveen an immigrant for Pakistan tell us this had arrived in some city in Middle East too.. In the beginning Sameera tells about her life as RJ, her hardships and her love for her job. Then suddenly, all of them come face to face to a Revolution in a country that is not their own. The book highlights the differences between the Sunnis and Shias, it tells about the downgrade of rule of Saddam Hussain.. The revolution takes place to bring down the then Unnamed Ruler “His Majesty” and make the country democratic! It describes so well of the events of gunshots, the ruthless beatings, people dying and the whole atmosphere filled with fear and terror !
Sameera being the lover of music finds out about a small band from his colleague Ali and goes with him.. in all the chaos she finds some solace in the music.. I just loved the way Sameera always took her stand come what may even in the naivest of situations, she was confident ! Also I like how every character has a story from their tradition to add to the narrative !
Benyamin, the author of the book, artfully makes the reader believe that it is a true story. He makes it look as if he has translated it into Malayalam from Arabic. However, you can consider it as the author's sleight of hand.
The title of the novel is probably inspired after Tunisia's national flower, Jasmine, where the Arab Spring Revolution had actually started. Arab Spring was also called as Jasmine Revolution.
The book won @thejcbprize JCB literature prize in 2018 and is definitely well deserved for its simple narrative and gripping storyline.
It tells you the story of a radio jockey ,an ardent music lover living in a middle eastern city. When the revolution breaks out in the city which forces the immigrants to leave the city and unfolds destruction, death, blood shed.The lives of the people become utterly miserable.
This book is a must read to know at what extent religious divisions and conflicts can stretch its poisonous arms to shatter the lives of poor, innocent and vaguely religiously educated people.
Debut author Benyamin tells the story of a revolution and how it’s impacted lives of people, with ease. This book will definitely leave an impact on you and will keep you thinking