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13th Annual Tagore Lecture: History, Memory and the Fictions of 1988

Friday, April 14, 2023 at 4:45pm

Kahin Center 640 Stewart Ave, Ithaca, NY 14850, USA

Talk by Kamila Shamsie (Novelist)

Kamila Shamsie will read from her new novel Best of Friends. The novel required Shamsie to return in her imagination to her 15-year-old self who lived through a pivotal moment in Pakistan’s history (the death of the dictator, Zia-ul-Haq, followed by the election of a 35-year-old woman, Benazir Bhutto, as Prime Minister). She will discuss how writing fiction about history can lay bare some of the fictions built around history, while also casting surprising shadows on the present. 

Kamila Shamsie is the author of eight novels, including Burnt Shadows, Best of Friends, and Home Firewhich won the Women’s Prize for Fiction and was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize, a Vice-President of the Royal Society of Literature in the UK, she was one of Granta’s Best of Young British Novelists, and her novels have been translated into more than 30 languages.  She grew up in Karachi, lives in London, and is a Belknap Visiting Fellow at Princeton University for Spring 2023. 

Books will be available for sale and signing from Buffalo Street Books after the reading.

The Rabindranath Tagore Lecture Series in Modern Indian Literature is made possible by a gift from the late Cornell Professor Emeritus Narahari Umanath Prabhu and his wife, Sumi Prabhu. Inspired by Rabindranath Tagore’s expansive imagination, unbounded by geopolitical boundaries, the series has regularly featured prominent writers from across South Asia and its diasporas.


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Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies, Asian Studies, South Asia Program





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