This Wide Night authored by Sarvat Hasin is a haunting debut novel that tells of an eccentric Pakistani family and the lonely outsider who wants in. The book is published by Penguin.
The novel reintroduces a classic story, retelling Little Women from the point of view of its chief male character, in the context of Pakistan.
The Maliks live a life of relative freedom in 1970s’ Karachi. Four beautiful sisters—Maria, Ayesha, Leila and Bina—are warily watched over by an unconventional mother. Captain Malik is usually away and so the women forge the rules of their own universe, taking in a few men: Amir, the professor who falls in love with Maria, and Jamal or Jimmy, the neighbour who narrates this tale. The curious young man is drawn in by all four sisters, particularly rebellious Ayesha. But slowly, it becomes clear he will never completely penetrate their circle, just as they will never completely move with the tide that swirls so potently around them.
In the quietly seething world of This Wide Night, Little Women meets The Virgin Suicides in Pakistan. Moving from Karachi to London and finally to the rain-drenched island of Manora, here is a compelling new novel from the subcontinent—and a powerful debut to watch.
About the Author
Sarvat Hasin was born in London and grew up in Karachi. This is her first novel.