Uzma Aslam Khan
Thinner Than Skin, 2012 Longlist
Uzma Aslam Khan is the author of Trespassing and The Geometry of God, both highly acclaimed novels, published around the world. Uzma’s story “Ice, Mating” was included in Granta magazine’s hugely popular edition on Pakistan. She is the winner of the Bronze Award in the Independent Publishers Book Awards. The Geometry of God was a Kirkus Best Book of 2009 and a finalist for Foreword Magazine’s Best Books of 2009. She currently lives in Western Massachusetts where she teaches fiction writing at Hampshire College.
Thinner than Skin is a riveting and timely novel about identity, belonging, and love; a novel about the clash of cultures and the impact of imposing beliefs and preconceptions on others. Nadir, a young Pakistani man trying to make his way as photographer in America, falls in love with Farhana, the daughter of a Pakistani father and German mother brought up in the US, who yearns to make a pilgrimage to a country she’s never seen. Together they journey to Pakistan, but they are not the only interlopers here: a suspect in a recent bombing has arrived just before them, and the authorities’ hunt for him casts a dangerous shadow over their journey. It is here, in this magnificent landscape—where anthropomorphic glaciers are born of mating ice—that a chance meeting with a young nomad will change their lives and the lives of those around them, tragically and forever.
Thinner than Skin is a haunting paean to the troubled wilds of Northern Pakistan, to its glaciers, to the old Silk Road, and to the vanishing nomadic life of the indigenous people in the Northern territories, where China encroaches, and Pakistanis, Uzbeks, Russians, Chinese, and Afghans all come together to trade—food and livestock, guns and secrets, songs and folktales. It is a work of piercing beauty and intelligence, and an urgent novel for our times.
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