Book Launch – The Runaway
Book Launch / March 28, 2016

[Press Release] Umair Naeem released his second book ‘The Runaway’, published by Tara-India Research Press, at a book launch event at Liberty Books Karachi. The launch was moderated by Yusra Askari, a print and broadcast journalist. The Runaway, a drama novel set in Pakistan, is a narrative of four individuals from different walks of life, brought together in their search for hope and redemption in the midst of a whirlpool of hate. The Runaway is Naeem’s second novel. His first novel, released in 2010, was titled Drowning Shadows. The main characters of the book are Sarmad, a man driven by vengeance, Kashan, a self-proclaimed intellectual Karachiite, Nilofer a fiercely independent single mother determined to fight for her child and Falak Sher, a criminal on the lookout for opportunities to profit. The lives of these four individuals crisscross in The Runaway; as Sarmad hunts for what he hopes will be the catharsis to his past, Kashan wonders if he can ever fall in love again, Nilofer tries to convince herself that she is as strong as she lets on for the world and Falak finds ways to summon power and control his destiny. Umair Naeem shares, “The Runaway is a story of how lives change. Highlighting the dichotomy in Pakistan, the novel…

DWL Karachi Meetup June 2015
Book Club Meetup / June 10, 2015

Desi Writers Lounge met on 5th June 2015 for its monthly meetup at Liberty Books. The book under discussion was Bina Shah’s “Season of the Martyrs”, a recent addition to Pakistani fiction that deals (for the first time) the events of Benazir Bhutto’s return to Pakistan and her subsequent assassination. A couple of new faces joined the meetup as Farheen took the lead to initiate the discussion, briefly talking about the various characters introduced by the author and how parallels have been drawn between the present and the past of Sindh. The Sufi aspect of the book was discussed, concentrating on stories like those of Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai, and the life of the main protagonist Ali Sikander as he experiences his disdain of politics with Benazir’s return. Some argued that Ali’s life made little sense as there was too much going on for him. Being in media and having a Hindu girlfriend, many aspects of his life seemed unrealistic. Some parts of the story such as Ali’s experiences of US Consulate and French Beach drew criticism, all the while praising for prose that described the story. Jalal was of the opinion that despite excellent prose, the story has too…

Liberty Books Holds Spring Fair
Liberty Books / April 28, 2015

Liberty Books Pakistan is currently holding Spring Fair at The Forum where people can find discounts on books of various genres and free events being held for children. The fair started from April 17 and will continue till May 4th. Facebook event for the Spring Fair: https://www.facebook.com/events/879410858842706/ Following is from Liberty Book’s blog about what to look forward to at the Spring Fair! 1. Discounted books – lots of them!              More than 3000 in fact! 15% off all new children’s books (for your favourite little ones) and several other discounted books for yourself 🙂 2. Variety: Here’s the thing – If you’re one of those dedicated book lovers you know that walking away (fully satisfied) from a book sale requires work. Great books don’t just land in your lap, you have to work for them. Those who have sprained themselves crouching for too long near the bottommost shelf inspecting each and every title or who have risked their lives balancing precariously on a rickety chair/table/sill/self-made ladder of animate and inanimate objects just to get a clearer view of a book’s title … know what we are talking about. We encourage (and understand!) that behaviour. Luckily, all our Spring Fair…

Conversation with Aamer Hussein
Author Meetup / March 24, 2015

Aamer Hussein reading an excerpt from The Swan’s Wife Aamer Hussein, famed author of short stories in English and (more recently) Urdu, sat down for literary conversation with Desi Writers Lounge at Liberty Books (BBQ Tonight Branch). Starting slightly late due to traffic jams, the event saw moderate attendance as new writers as well as established novelists listened with rapt attention to Aamer as Farheen, Karachi representative of DWL, moderated the session. Aamer Hussein shared several pearls of wisdom as he talked about his skill as multilingual who can read Italian, French, English, Urdu and Persian while devouring English translations of various notable works written in Arabic, Russian, Japanese and many other European and East Asian languages. Taught at an early age to read and write in English and later Persian, Aamer experimented with his writing styles until he published his first work at the age of 32 and picked up French and Italian languages in the meantime, significantly expanding his literary horizon. His more recent work has been in Urdu language where he published quite a few short stories that found their way on paper specifically because he attempted to write them in Urdu … they were stuck with…

Book Launch – “Magic Within” by Manal Shakir
Book Launch / February 28, 2015

Manal Shakir with her debut novel “Magic Within” Liberty Books today hosted book launch of Manal Shakir’s debut novel, Magic Within. The event was planned out in the traditional manner with space for about 50 audience members and a moderator to set the direction for the launch. Farheen Zehra, Karachi representative of Desi Writers Lounge, played the role of moderator for the launch. The event started at 6:15 pm and after introductions the theme and story of the book came under discussion. Manal excitedly told about her inspiration for the story and how she missed Karachi when she moved to USA after marriage. The story took about 4 years to complete and it was a slow process where she took regular breaks, returning to the story and re-editing the draft as it progressed. It’s a story about Karachi (not named outright) and a circus, of family relations and marriages where the protagonists Adnan and Reena (husband and wife) live the way Karachittes do. Their stories, interspersed with the way a circus functions, have all the glitter and gold in front but darker realities behind the scenes … marriage that goes very, very wrong but doesn’t appear that way from outside….

Manal Shakir launching “Magic Within”
Upcoming / February 26, 2015

Manal Shakir is launching her book “Magic Within” on 28th February, 2015 at Liberty Books BBQ Tonight branch. Following is the invite on Liberty Book’s official Facebook page:

TRA Meetup January 2015
Book Club Meetup / February 1, 2015

The Readers’ Avenue, a growing family of book lovers in Karachi, met on 31st January to discuss Philippa Gregory’s “The White Queen”. Suggested by Kiran Bashir, the book captivated most participants and nearly everyone in attendance had read the book. Some members had even progressed further in the series by reading its sequel The Red Queen and subsequent novels. Everyone agreed that Philippa had masterly told the life of a queen in medieval England and Kiran, who has now become an authority on British History in the group, kept a running commentary of the intricacies of English royalty and history. The fate of two boys of Queen Elizabeth, Edward and Richard, were deeply discussed and Munir (who still needed to read the last 100 pages) ended up asking for the ending. It took three members to link each event right till the end to reveal the book ending which led to a new cycle of confusion since half the members had read sequels and they often had to backtrack to stay on The White Queen. One debate between Kiran and Jamal/Wasio was the description of the English society. Jamal and Wasio argued that they didn’t feel surroundings and couldn’t connect…