After a five year long wait highly anticipated Pakistani author Mohammad Hanif’s latest novel just became so much more real. It has a title, publisher and—as of this week—a cover.
Titled ‘Red Birds’ the novel comes after his 2013 book “The Baloch Who Is Not Missing And Others Who Are” and is set to tell “deep and important truths about our crazy contemporary world” in a “dark comic absurdity of tone.” The whimsical cover illustrated by Bloomsbury’s Greg Heinmann depicts a tiny bird chewing barbed wire.
According to a news release the book is about Major Ellie, an American pilot who crash lands in the desert, and Momo, a teenager in a neighboring refugee camp. Both protagonists have their own sets of problems from marital to financial. Meanwhile an academic is studying Momo for her thesis on the Teenage Muslim Mind. Major Ellie and Momo find their paths colliding, in what is being called a black comedy about the world crisis.
Mohammad Hanif is the author of the much celebrated novel “A Case of Exploding Mangoes” which was long listed for the Booker Prize and short listed for the Commonwealth Prize for Best Book. His second novel “Our Lady of Alice Bhatti” which is about Karachi was short listed for the Wellcome Book Prize and received mixed reviews from readers.
Faiza Khan, Editorial Director of Bloomsbury India said that “I have been a devoted admirer of Mohammed Hanif’s unique combination of wit, compassion and truth-telling since he first burst onto the literary scene in a rare moment for South Asian fiction and I am very proud to be working with this immense talent.”