Fabulous Fiction Firsts #303 : Small Gems
Once again, something that would fit in your coat pocket, something you could whip out while standing in line at the post office or the market. It passes the time, keeps you from the nervous foot tapping, and don't be surprised that strangers would come up to you and tell you what a smart idea it is.
Who does not dream of Paris in the spring time? (Did you take a look at the weather outside?) In Ellen Sussman's novel French Lessons (her first in our collection), a single day in the City of Light changes the lives of three Americans as they each set off to explore the city with a French tutor, succumbing to unexpected passion and unpredictable adventures, while learning about language, love, and loss as their lives intersect in surprising ways.
"Pleasantly evocative escape" - just when we need it most.
In Jane Austen's (1775-1817) Love and Friendship where tragedy and comedy go hand in hand, she delivers a stringent satire on drawing-room society, on the lives and loves of teenage girls, brilliantly heralding her later masterpieces. This delightful but long neglected volume comprises of 2 short epistolary novels and 5 short stories written in letter form.
A comforting visit with an old friend.
A haunting literary debut set in the remote Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) where Iran, Pakistan, and Afghanistan meet, where traditions both brutal and beautiful, create a rigid structure for life in the wild, the The Wandering Falcon tells of the harrowing journey of a young couple running from the cruel fate that awaits them for their transgression against family and culture. Their son Tor Baz , born under extreme circumstances and descended from rules and outlaws, becomes The Wandering Falcon.
In the rich, dramatic tones of a master storyteller, Jamil Ahmad has written "an unforgettable portrait of a world of custom and compassion, of love and cruelty, of hardship and survival, a place fragile, unknown, and unforgiving". Jamil Ahmad was born in 1930. He joined the Civil Service of Pakistan in 1954 and was posted as minister in Pakistan's embassy in Kabul for many years. He now lives in Islamabad with his wife, Helga Ahmad, a nationally recognized environmentalist and social worker. This is his first book.