Kamila Shamsie | Best of Friends | Online
Sat 14 Jan - Mon 30 Jan 2023
Winner of the Women’s Prize for Fiction in 2018 with Home Fire, Kamila Shamsie presents her highly anticipated new book Best of Friends: an epic story of childhood friendship beginning in 1980s Karachi and spanning decades and continents, exploring power, bonds, and the personal vs political.
Fourteen-year-old Maryam and Zahra live in Karachi and have always been the best of friends, despite their different backgrounds. This year, 1988, anything seems possible for the girls; and for Pakistan, emerging from the darkness of dictatorship into a bright future under another young woman, Benazir Bhutto. But a snap decision at a party celebrating the return of democracy brings the girls’ childhoods abruptly to an end. Its consequences will shape their futures in ways they cannot imagine…
In conversation with broadcaster and journalist Alex Clark
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Kamila Shamsie was born and grew up in Karachi, Pakistan. Her most recent novel, Home Fire, won the Women’s Prize for Fiction in 2018. It was also longlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2017, shortlisted for the Costa Best Novel Award, and won the London Hellenic Prize. She is the author of six previous novels including Burnt Shadows, shortlisted for the Orange Prize, and A God in Every Stone, shortlisted for the Women’s Bailey’s Prize and the Walter Scott Prize. Her work has been translated into over 25 languages. Kamila Shamsie is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and was named a Granta Best of Young British Novelist in 2013. She is professor of creative writing at the University of Manchester and lives in London.
Alex Clark is a broadcaster and journalist, who writes for the Guardian, the Observer, and the Times Literary Supplement. She is a professional chairperson and has appeared at Cheltenham, Hay and the Southbank Centre, as well as appearing on BBC Radio 4, the Graham Norton Book Club for Audible and the TLS podcast. Alex is a festival honorary patron.