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Burnt Shadows: A Novel [Kamila Shamsie] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Winner of the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award An Orange Prize. SHORTLISTED FOR THE ORANGE PRIZE In a prison cell in the US, a man stands trembling, naked, fearfully waiting to be shipped to Guantánamo Bay. Summary and reviews of Burnt Shadows by Kamila Shamsie, plus links to a book excerpt from Burnt Shadows and author biography of Kamila Shamsie.

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Review: Burnt Shadows by Kamila Shamsie | Books | The Guardian

In a split second, the world turns white. Both are looking forward to the end of the war so that life gets back to normal and they can be wed. Want to Read Currently Reading Read.

Any reader anticipating a predictable yarn about the radicalisation of Islamist youth may feel cheated.

Are you a writer who conducts all your research before you sit down to write the story? The atomic age marked the start of the cold war, fought hot in proxy wars from Vietnam to Afghanistan, with blood spilt by the superpowers’ hi-tech weaponry. Burnt Shadows by Kamila Shamsie. She had been speaking to him of Konrad’s interest in the foreigners who made their homes in Nagasaki, and now she saw her words filtering into his thoughts and becoming part of the way he saw the world.

No, the bomb changes things, but we are now at the heart of those who suffered through it. It is over here that the Weiss and the Burtons will find their way into the lives of the Tanaka and Ashrafs, all the while spanning across greater demographics.

Burnt Shadows by Kamila Shamsie

The writer did a lot of research, to make the events of the world sync in with story. This author seems to KNOW exactly what she wanted to say. It has been difficult to encapsulate this novel into a short review because it is so complex and extensive. A couple of grumbles; the ending is flagged up too early and obviously and it really is too short.


I could tell more or less what was going to happen, in which direction the scenes were developing. We are no longer just concerned with nationalities, but with ethnicities, with religion, with the divergence of groups within groups and individuals whose particular choices can affect all those around them.

It is not that a disagree with that message, just that I prefer thinking through these things on my own. Moreover, his ability to converse in many languages makes him all too unforgettable. Despite the complexity of their heritage and their “inside” knowledge of history’s details, they come off as somewhat naive in an insular sort of way, which they clearly weren’t and that did not convince me, given their background.

As someone who was born in Karachi, lived in London, and attended college in the United States, how have all of these places influenced your writing?

It’s not that I sensed the plot elements lacked credibility, or that these characters’ coming together, drawing apart, only to be united again, seemed too farfetched to bear a resemblance to reality. Children are out of bounds. Shaxows Tanaka steps out onto her veranda, taking in the view of the terraced slopes leading up to the sky.

Burnt Shadows

T he huge ambition of Kamila Shamsie’s fifth novel is announced in the prologue. The romance motif in this book is nothing like Ashok’s fairy-tales. By using our website you consent to all cookies in accordance with our Cookie Policy. Wrapped in a kimono with three black cranes swooping across the back, she is twenty-one, in love with the man she is to marry, Konrad Weiss.


Everything written in the book can be reflected in one simple phrase, “The speed necessary to replace loss. He chose to be a deserter, not by willingness, but it was time that stretched him far away from the kind of life he always dreamed about. It shows world at its worst and how love, friendship, forgiveness and loyalty can still exist in it.

For some reason the plot seemed a tad too obvious. What was beautiful, soothing, redemptive to me in this story, was the view from elsewhere, from Hiroko and her birds, from Konrad and his optimism, from Sajjad and his family, from Raza and his friends. In Karachi, the saga of the Weiss-Burtons and Tanaka-Ashrafs shifts to Hiroko and Sajjad’s son Raza, a linguist given to impersonating Afghan refugees from the Soviet invasion ofand James and Ilse’s son Henry, a Kipling-like figure mourning a lost Indian childhood his daughter is named Kim.

In what situations can such relationships endure, and in what situations do they crumble? Through Hiroko, you learn about the bombing and its aftermath in Nagasaki. Why pretend it was more complicated than that?

Burnt Shadows

Look at that blurb. He had been playing cricket in the garden with Henry when Elizabeth came out and told her son he was ‘such a young Englishman’. The ties that have bound these families together over decades and generations are tested to the extreme, with unforeseeable consequences.

In the end there was no grandson, and no section—but there is a link between the woman in Nagasaki and a young man from Pakistan.