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Book review: The Good Children offers Pakistani perspective from afar

Posted by on 29/06/2018

Author Roopa Farooki.THE GOOD CHILDREN. By Roopa Farooki. Hachette. 620pp. $39.99

An Indian novelist recently suggested that families in South Asia are so far-extended, so tightly-woven and so deeply-enmeshed that no writer in the region should ever run out of material. Nonetheless, with The Good Children as yet another example, many of the most acute and astute stories about Indian and Pakistani families are published by expatriate authors, living in London or the United States.

Roopa Farooki, born in Lahore but brought up in London, now divides her time between England (the South East) and France (the South West). Her characters in The Good Children likewise scurry between the family home in Pakistan and their studies, jobs and loves in the wider world. The focus of their gaze is insistently outwards and away; Farooki’s family is diametrically different from the claustrophobically constrained  Pakistani family in Salman Rushdie’s Shame. If this family tale proves any moral, that would be Bob Dylan’s judgment, “your sons and your daughters are beyond your command”.

After a silly false start at a behavioural science laboratory at Yale, The Good Children opens in Lahore in 1938. “This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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