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"H.M. Naqvi is a superb stylist and writes like a poet. With careful attention to details and with enormous patience he presents a world that is at once fascinating and familiar. The Selected Works of Abdullah the Cossack is completely original in form and sensibility."--Ha Jin, winner of the National Book Award
Winner of the inaugural DSC Prize for South Asian Literature, H.M. Naqvi follows his critically-lauded debut Home Boy
with The Selected Works of Abdullah the Cossack
, an enthralling novel about one unforgettable and gloriously unaccomplished man, his impending death, and the history and life of his bustling, shape-shifting city.
Abdullah, bachelor and scion of a once prominent family, awakes on the morning of his seventieth birthday and considers launching himself over the balcony. Having spent years attempting to compile a "mythopoetic legacy" of his beloved Karachi, the cosmopolitan heart of Pakistan, Abdullah has lost his zeal. A surprise invitation for a night out from his old friend Felix Pinto snaps Abdullah out of his funk, and saddles him with a ward--Pinto's adolescent grandson Bosco. As Abdullah plays mentor to Bosco, he also attracts the romantic attentions of Jugnu, an enigmatic siren with links to the mob. All the while Abdullah's brothers' plot to evict him from the family estate. Now he must to try to save his home--or face losing his last connection to his familial past. Anarchic, erudite, and rollicking, with a septuagenarian protagonist like no other, The Selected Works of Abdullah the Cossack
is a joyride of a story set against a kaleidoscopic portrait of one of the world's most vibrant cities.