This “splendidly satirical novel” by the award-winning Pakistani author “beautifully captures the absurdity and folly of war and its ineluctable impact” (Booklist, starred review).
An American pilot crash lands in the desert and finds himself on the outskirts of the very camp he was supposed to bomb. After days spent wandering and hallucinating from dehydration, Major Ellie is rescued by one of the camp’s residents, a teenager named Momo, whose money-making schemes are failing while his family falls apart. His older brother left for his first day of work at an American base and never returned; his parents are at each other’s throats; his dog is having a very bad day; and a well-meaning aid worker has shown up wanting to research him for her book on the Teenage Muslim Mind.
To escape the madness, Momo sets out to search for his brother, and hopes his new Western acquaintances might be able to help find him. But as the truth of Ali’s whereabouts begin to unfold, the effects of American “aid” on this war-torn country are revealed to be increasingly pernicious. In Red Birds, acclaimed author Mohammed Hanif reveals critical truths about the state of the world with his trademark wit and keen eye for absurdity.