Sunday, June 14, 2009

-The WISH MAKER- & Pakistan by Debut Novelist Ali Sethi, age 24

Look who's first novel is JUST OUT!

The novel was just released this past Thursday - the day before this featured radio broadcast.

Around eight hours ago - Saturday late afternoon for me - I was intensely focused online becoming more and more aware of the enormous challenges Pakistani writers and students face in their nation on every hand.

Finally, as I was leaving the library - I was solemnly shaking my head with deep concern for Pakistan - and praying inwardly with intense focus - for my fairly new online Pakistani friends - for their wisdom and their safety. Suddenly, I stopped in my tracks. My eyes turned immediately to the new book section and noticed a green-gold cover on one particular book. Turning to the back jacket, I was amazed to see that this novel was based on Pakistan.

So I brought Ali Sethi's first novel home and placed it right near my computer.

Later, having difficulty trying to make a post out of a beautiful translation of Pakistan's National Anthem along with enlightened comments by Pakistani students, I took a break and looked up the name "Ali Sethi". I found this very recent interview with a heart-felt man who is not only well-informed yet also a speaker at ease who remembers the names of those who call in with questions. By the way, Mr. Sethi listens well and is remarkably congenial to his host and to the callers-in.

Obviously this needed to be my current blog.

Tom Ashebrook, the interviewer says strikingly, by the way, "A lot of women in this book!" The story is "about a fatherless boy growing up in a family of outspoken women in contemporary Pakistan - a tale of sacrifice, betrayal and indestructible friendship." (book jacket)

By the way, Ali Sethi speaks in this interview right after a well-known cleric - who has been courageously speaking out against internal terrorism - has just been killed in a large Pakistan city.

The author says he is speaking partly about living "ordinary lives in extraordinary times" and about tolerance: "The most important topic in my book and in my life." Ali Sethi speaks with loving clarity about the Sufi poet-founders of his beloved region of the world. He says he's appalled by the drones encouraged by the US. The ratio of terrorists killed compared to civilian casualties is not a good ratio, he says.

(Notice today on yahoo's front page this article here which highlights basically the same message described by Mr. Sethi during this interview - that the "U.S. missile strikes could undermine that sentiment because they are deeply unpopular among Pakistanis. The government has publicly protested such strikes, fired by unmanned drone aircraft, saying they violate the country's sovereignty...")

Strikingly, Mr. Sethi says that young people today in Pakistan are realizing more and more that their nation will survive only if they speak out and voice their opinions.

FIRST, before seeing the short video and reading the text and comments - you may want to hear this thorough Radio Interview. Tom Ashbrook (one of my favorite interviewer) is interviewing Ali Sethi CLICK here in this Broadcast Friday, June 12, 2009 at 11:00 AM EDT (I think you will enjoy also the listeners calling in. An American women - notably - called in to say that she believes that the solutions for the future for us all will largely depend on people like Ali Sethi.)

Find much more on this book and Ali Sethi as well as a number of comments from online readers HERE Why not add your own comments to on point radio or below and then immediately order and read this book and/or beg your library to get it promptly. After reading, lets all be sure to comment and vote at Amazon and get the word out. Folk, this book promises to be not just any new book but one with universal appeal as well as what it takes to bring about educated understanding concerning a mysterious and crucial place.

ORDER this DEBUT BOOK on Amazon dot com:
“The Wish Maker, in Ali Sethi's mature and sure-handed prose, is an engaging family saga, an absorbing coming-of-age story, and an illuminating look....GO here

Find some of Ali Sethi's Columns published in 'The Nation' magazine (A Weekly journal of opinion, featuring analysis on politics and culture. Founded in 1865.)
by going here

KEEP WATCHING for much more from Ali Sethi - surely one of the best spokespersons for Pakistan - and for many other youth leaders today. Sethi is - and will be - a key player in his Beloved Country's future peace as well as in international dialogue. My hats off to Tom Ashbrook for choosing this debut novelist to interview at such a key time. Mr. Sethi is an exemplary role-model for other many other young writers, artists, speakers, activists and leaders the world around.

By the way, CONGRATS - Pakistan - on your recent Cricket victory!
Pakistan captain hails Razzaq and Gul SEE Yahoo front page Sunday.

1 comment:

Connie L. Nash said...

I know I will sound old-fashioned by most youthful standards yet I'm quite worried about the young who read this and may possibly ruin their lives (at least temporarily) by participating in the free sexual attitudes of this book - which seem to toss religuous, spiritual and ethical concerns to the wind.

Otherwise, it's creatively written and quite funny in places but the sexual license caused me to close the book and become a bit sick.

Also, I loved the interview and thought that perhaps this book would be a great bridge-builder between cultures and yet I would be more worried about this author than even many youth in America - of whom I worried greatly!

I hope that while young Pakistanis are learning English from American films they are not at the same time taking on the values of so many of our films!

If the author or another concerned sees this - do correspond so we can talk about this...