Summary and reviews of Burnt Shadows by Kamila Shamsie, plus links to a book excerpt from Burnt Shadows and author biography of Kamila Shamsie. Kamila Shamsie is the author of four novels, including Kartography and Broken Verses. Her most recent novel, Burnt Shadows, was shortlisted for the. Burnt Shadows: A Novel [Kamila Shamsie] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Winner of the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award An Orange Prize.

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Hiroko Tanaka watches her lover from the veranda as he leaves. Sunlight shamsue across Urakami Valley, and then the world goes white. In the devastating aftermath of the atomic bomb, Hiroko leaves Japan in search of new beginnings. Sweeping in its scope and mesmerizing in its evocation of time and place, this is a tale of love and war, kwmila three generations, and three world-changing historic events.

Kamila Shamsie’s Burnt Shadows is a story for our time by “a writer of immense ambition and strength. This is an absorbing novel that commands in the reader a powerful emotional and intellectual response” Salman Rushdie. With Partition between India and Pakistan looming, the Burtons return to England, where their son Henry is in boarding school.

Kamila Shamsie’s subject is brilliantly whadows in our era or ‘globalization’–at the same time a riveting family saga in which the very concept ‘family’ is ambitiously and imaginatively examined. In Burnt ShadowsKamila Samsie casts her imagination remarkably far and wide, through time and across continents. She understands a great deal about the ways in which the world’s many tragedies and histories shape one another, and about how human beings can try to avoid being crushed by their fate and can discover their humanity, even in the fiercest combat zones of the age.

Burnt Shadows is an absorbing novel that commands, in the reader, a powerful emotional and intellectual response.

A tribute to Shamsie’s skills. A startling expansion of the author’s intentions, imagination and craftsmanship. One can only admire the huge advances she shxdows made, and helped us to make, in understanding the new global tensions.

A great, absorbing novel, one that will be with us a long time. She is so extraordinary a writer that she also offers hints about the century we are living through–the dark corners that contain challenges, as well as the paths that lead to beauty’s lair.

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Don’t have a Kindle? Try the Kindle edition and experience these great reading features: Is this feature helpful? Thank you for your feedback. Share your thoughts with other customers. Write a customer review. Read reviews that mention burnt shadows new york kamila shamsie atomic bomb hiroko tanaka konrad weiss india and pakistan bomb is dropped united states japanese woman bombing of nagasaki james burton york city weiss is a german years later pakistan and afghanistan tanaka is a young goes white highly recommend konrad sister.


Showing of 91 reviews. Top Reviews Most recent Top Reviews. There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later. I picked up this book for one of my college English classes with very low expectations. However, from the very fist page I was hooked. The writing style is like Bhrnt Hosseini which is great since he is one of my favorite authors! Honestly this burnf blew me away with the amount of bby emanating from each of the characters. I loved how the story flowed from place to place over a lifetime.

You experienced the characters as they grew and changed. It was amazing how the author was able to interlink each of the characters to each other either through history, relation, or current events. It was great to see how their relationships grew and faltered. This book definitely deserves five stars and I would highly recommend it.

Kindle Edition Verified Purchase. What a twisted story it was. Exploring their understanding of each other and failing, starting over and over and over. Great reminder to all of us on judgmental nature we have, putting tags on people just based on what media tells us and not based on our internal feeling or guidance. Great book to remind ourselves that we all are humans and all exploring how to be happy with the life we have and failing or winning for a bit and then failing again.

I don’t often write reviews. But this book deserves it, and I’m writing this as soon as I read the last words of the story. I can’t give the review it deserves without a bit of a spoiler alert, so be warned Throughout this book, ethnic prejudice is a subtle subtext.

The story is woven through decades, lives, people, countries, and you see different facets and faces of these feelings throughout the story’s journey from one side of the globe to the other.

Toward the end of the book, that subtext is no longer subtle — it hits you right between the eyes. When the book ended, at first I was angry. How could the story just. What about a happy ending, with all resolved? That only lasted a few minutes, because with just a little bit of time to think, and hopefully this book makes the reader think, you realize in our current time there could be no easy fix, no happy ending to some of these issues.

It makes you go back through the book in your mind. I’m embarrassed to say that I realized I hadn’t focused much on that subtle subtext, I recognized the sadness of the prejudice but had accepted it as an unfortunate fact of history and of life today, and focused on the story. Given the world hostilities, we become so accustomed to these feelings that while we may not agree with them we accept them as a fact of life. There is much sadness in this story, deep loss, repeatedly.

But the central character of Hiroko stays with you. Once in a while you want the story to move a bit faster, but staying with it is worth the journey. It is beautifully told and poignant.

I wish I could meet Hiroko and simply visit with her. This is one of the best of the many books I’ve read this year. One person found this helpful. I will start by saying that I probably do not represent the average reader, since this book received a lot more attention than Broken Verses by the same author, that I enjoyed much more.


Burnt Shadows is a complex novel that begins with Hiroko, a young Japanese woman who finds herself in the midst of the atomic bomb of Nagasaki.

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The story goes on to describe her journey to Delhi, where she connects with a British family on several different levels, while also finding the love of her life, who happens to be an Indian Muslim being displaced by the Hindu-Muslim riots of What follows is an entangled web of the bond between these very different families.

There are many subjects interwoven into the narrative; burjt of war, terrorism and prejudice. There are many powerful and thought-provoking sentences, “. Shamsie is one of the most gifted authors of today, in my opinion and therefore I shadoww hesitant giving her work three stars, when I really hoped to give it five.

The Kamila Shamsie Interview

My reasons are as follows: Despite having a good story line against a well-described and diverse background, I found myself unable to connect with the characters. The number of locations Japan, India, Pakistan, America and Afghanistanthe time span of the story 60 kamlaand the number of main characters 7 was excessive, and took away from individual locations and characters.

The advantage of a book like this is that a lot happens, and therefore the pace is rarely compromised; however for me, it’s more important to share the joy and the pain of the characters, and mourn for their loss when they are gone, than to see a lot of different things happen. I did like the ending, and the portrayal of war and the destruction it brings at so many levels.

It was an interesting shadws. It is the first book by an Pakistani hurnt that i have read and after the interview I certainly wanted to give it a try. Another very interesting aspect was it spans both our countries. We are culturally, emotionally and often even in our thought process.

The atomic shamsle and experiences there of, are a bit shallow but one seldom reads social emotional scars of the bomb. While Hiroko was strong, I couldn’t understand some of her actions. I would kamola liked to read shamsiie on Hiroko than Afghanistan. That part of the book didn’t appeal to me because I found it unrealistic.

There was no need for Raza to be larger than life and keep doing all sacrifices. In spite of that I fully enjoyed reading it and have byrnt it to friends. Kamila Shamsie wrecks me every time! I read Home Fires earlier also an excellent read and the way everything comes together at the end, I just ache that the story is over and really want to re-read it right away.

I love the character development, the complex plot lines, the rich descriptive scenes she creates. See all 91 reviews.