Jamil Ahmad

Monday, July 14, 2014

Jamil Ahmad, author of The Wandering Falcon

Ahmad author photo 3

Jamil Ahmad, author of The Wandering Falcon, died this morning at his home in Islamabad after a long illness. He was 83 years old.

 

Ahmad’s debut fiction, The Wandering Falcon, was published when he was 79 years old to enormous international acclaim, and was shortlisted for the Man Asian Literary Prize in 2011.  An instant international literary sensation, The Financial Times called the novel “fantastic,” The Guardian dubbed it “striking,” and according to The New York Times, “Mr. Ahmad’s deep understanding of his characters shows what a powerful truth teller fiction can be.” Steve Inskeep for NPR said The Wandering Falcon “illuminates one of the most perilous regions of the world….The early chapters are reminiscent of masterpieces like Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian…all the way through, the characters, the tales, and the landscape are rendered with clarity, sympathy, and insight.”

 

Ahmad’s novel initially came to global attention when its first chapter was excerpted in the Fall 2010 “Pakistan” issue of Granta magazine. At the time, The Independent (UK) wrote: “If Granta’s India edition brought to light the brilliant young writer, Arundhati Roy, who won the Booker Prize later that year, this collection’s equivalent gem of a find is the older but nonetheless astonishing talent of the hitherto unpublished 79-year-old civil servant, Jamil Ahmad.”

 

Ahmad, a retired political officer of the Pakistani government, served for two decades among the nomadic tribes who inhabit one of the world’s harshest and most geopolitically sensitive regions. With his mesmerizing and lyrical tales, Ahmad illuminated the tribes’ fascinating attitudes and taboos, their ancient customs and traditions, and their fiercely held codes of honor.

 

More on the passing of Jamil Ahmad can be read here and you can listen to an interview with Jamil Ahmad on NPR here.

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Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Jamil Ahmad's The Wandering Falcon is shortlisted for the Man Asian Literary Prize

Jamil Ahmad's The Wandering Falcon has been shortlisted for the prestigious Man Asian Literary Prize 2011. The winner will be announced in March. Congrats to Jamil Ahmad! To read more about the prize...

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Tuesday, November 08, 2011

NPR's Steve Inskeep reviews Jamil Ahmad's The Wandering Falcon

“[Y]ou instantly care so much about that boy and his fate that you can hardly stand to stop reading. The early chapters are reminiscent of masterpieces like Cormac McCarthy's Blood Meridian, which also features a boy alone in a gorgeous but harsh and often terrifying desert landscape…. [T]he characters, the tales, and the landscape are rendered with clarity, sympathy, and insight. The author makes us travel with him.... The book offers a rich picture of the "mountainous, lawless tribal areas" we have previously known mainly for bullets and bombs.” Read more...

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Monday, November 07, 2011

Three Riverhead authors on Publishers Weekly's Best Books of 2011 List

Publishers Weekly picks three Riverhead titles for their end of year Best Books of 2011 list. Jamil Ahmad's "captivating wonder" of a novel, The Wandering Falcon, Meghan O'Rourke's "eloquent" memoir, The Long Goodbye, and Jon Ronson's "droll, disturbing, and unforgettable" The Psychopath Test, all make the list. To see the entire list, click here.

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Thursday, October 27, 2011

The New York Times on Jamil Ahmad's The Wandering Falcon

"The tribal areas of northwest Pakistan may remain as shrouded as its women, but Mr. Ahmad offers a glimpse at the way of life there.... Mr. Ahmad’s deep understanding of his characters shows what a powerful truth teller fiction can be." Read more...

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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

NPR's All Things Considers on Jamil Ahmad's The Wandering Falcon

Alan Cheuse reviewed The Wandering Falcon by 80-year-old debut fiction author, Jamil Ahmad:

“[P]artake[s] of the power of myth and give[s] back to the reader the ambiguities of antique culture alive and well in the world of contemporary national borders…. Ahmad's voice, like that of an old storyteller of which he writes addressing an intertribal conclave about the consequences of a kidnapping. Ahmad's voice is usually clear and sharp like the sound of plucked strings from a musical instrument.”

To read more or listen...

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Monday, September 26, 2011

The Los Angeles Times features Jamil Ahmad, author of The Wandering Falcon on the front page!

The Los Angeles Times printed a front page profile of Jamil Ahmad, author of The Wandering Falcon, in this morning's paper. The article describes the 80-year-old debut author's path to publication and raves about the novel: "The Wandering Falcon moves far beyond the Western media's stereotypical depiction of the tribal areas and lays bare the nature of a place that is now a focal point of U.S. and European foreign policy." Read more...

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Monday, August 01, 2011

Jamil Ahmad chosen for Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers program

Congrats to Jamil Ahmad, author of the upcoming The Wandering Falcon, for being chosen as a pick for Barnes & Noble’s Discover Great New Writers program!

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Thursday, July 21, 2011

Publishers Weekly on Jamil Ahmad’s “shadowy, enchanting” debut The Wandering Falcon

“In his first novel, [Ahmad] proves a masterful guide to the landscape and to the captivating art of storytelling at its finest… A gripping book, as important for illuminating the current state of this region as it is timeless in its beautiful imagery and rhythmic prose.” More…

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Monday, July 18, 2011

Jamil Ahmad interview in Granta magazine

Listen to Jamil Ahmad speak with Granta’s Ellah Allfrey about his forthcoming book, The Wandering Falcon, a novel set in the tribal areas of Pakistan and Afghanistan.

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