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Trespassing Paperback – 19 May 2003
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There are many stories here, told through different narrators and through shifts back and forth in time. There is the story of an unhappy young Pakistani man attending an American college that seems to be a cross between Amherst and UMass. There is another plot line that follows the lives of several different women, from different generations, as they push up against religious and cultural barriers. At times the novel offers a lyrical rendering of Pakistani scenes like a seaside cove and a silkworm factory, while at other times it strives to depict the difficulties of life in a sprawling city where the water and electricity are never reliable. Yet another story follows a village man who comes to the city and, for a time, casts his lot with dispossessed men empowered by a flood of cheap American arms. All of this is wound around a love story that seems designed to appeal to---it's hard to say to whom, exactly. The illicit embraces of the lovers, Dia and Daanish, ultimately prove wearying to read about, and thus the final revelation of the fate of their love is only a fizzle.
This might have been a better novel had it not tried to do so many things, in so many different voices. The dialogue is often flat and predictable, and the author's use of metaphor is sometimes cringe-inducing.
For its depiction of life in Pakistan, I much prefer Daniyal Mueenuddin's In Other Rooms, Other Wonders.
Incest???? Give me a break. I really took offense at the authors attempt to sneak her anti war and anti American rhetoric into the story line.
She did not have any facts to back up her case and left just enough information to leave an impression. The story never
came together except the ridulous ending of the siblings. I was really disappointed.