In the City by the Sea
Hasan is eleven years old. He loves cricket, pomegranates, his clever, vibrant, artistic mother and his etymologically-obsessed lawyer father. He ... Show synopsis Hasan is eleven years old. He loves cricket, pomegranates, his clever, vibrant, artistic mother and his etymologically-obsessed lawyer father. He loves the night sky, and adores his nextdoor neighbour Zehra - despite the fact that she seems suddenly very interested in his fourteen-year-old cousin Najam with his one chest hair. Early one summer morning, while lazing happily on the roof, Hasan sees a young boy flying a yellow kite from a nearby house fall to his death. And soon after, Hasan's idyllic, sheltered family life is shattered when his beloved uncle Salman Mamoo, a dissenting politician, is arrested and charged with treason. Brought face-to-face with the precariousness of the world around him, and the mortal vulnerability of those he loves, Hasan secretly resolves to save his uncle. Heavy-hearted, he questions the Oldest Man, tries out magical thinking and, like Hamlet, his father's favourite character, hatches plots he can never carry through. Set in a country ruled by an oppressive military regime, this eloquent, charming and quietly political novel vividly recreates the confusing world of an imaginative young boy on the edge of adulthood, and beautifully illustrates the transformative power of the imagination.