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The Story of a Widow Hardcover – Deckle Edge, Aug 12 2008

3.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf Canada (Aug. 12 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307397181
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307397188
  • Product Dimensions: 15.7 x 2.8 x 22.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 340 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,405,896 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

Review

“Tender, heartwarming and unabashedly sentimental, in Mona, Farooqi has created everyone’s ideal woman: she can make you laugh and cry on the same page. The Story of A Widow is an ultra-realistic miniature in which Farooqi has evoked the tribulations of extended families and mid-life with sparse prose. If Jane Austen had grown up in a Karachi suburb, this is what she would have written.”
— Mohammed Hanif, author of A Case of Exploding Mangoes

“I loved The Story of a Widow! It is a novel full of charm and humour, and Farooqi writes about Mona Ahmad and her attempts to negotiate a world full of interfering if well-meaning relatives with a warm understanding of human frailties.”
— Anita Rau Badami, author or Can You Hear the Nightbird Call?

“Readers are not so much transported to suburban Karachi as they are transplanted into the heart of an Indian family. And families are . . . well, families, it seems, are the same world over. . . . [The Story of a Widow is a] charming and insightful novel . . . [A] life-affirming work.”
The Edmonton Journal

“It is not a novel of nuance and subtlety but one of instruction and encouragement.”
Winnipeg Free Press

“Readers are not so much transported to suburban Karachi as they are transplanted into the heart of an Indian family. And families are … well, families, it seems, are the same the world over…. Charming and insightful.”
The Gazette

About the Author

Musharraf Ali Farooqi is an author and translator. His critically acclaimed translation of the Indo-Islamic epic, The Adventures of Amir Hamza, was published by the Modern Library in 2007. He has also translated the works of contemporary Urdu poet Afzal Ahmed Syed.

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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
The Story Of A Widow by Musharraf Ali Farooqi was excellent; so much better than I had expected. I never would have imagined that a fifty-year-old widow's story would be so exciting. I anticipated that the widow's remarriage would be near the conclusion of the story, but it was only the beginning. The novel is realistic, and has both humour and seriousness: the characters' antics are enjoyable and convincing , while the thoughts of the widow are serious and profound.

Akbar Ahmad, 59, had a stroke and left Mona, 50, a widow. Mona enlarged and framed a portrait of Akbar in the living room, not knowing that in the future, the man in the portrait would scrutinize her every action. Mona realizes the truths of her marriage with Akbar that she was denying. With glimpses of her past, her thoughts, her actions, both Mona and the readers learn the influences that changed Mona into who she is now, and the reasons why she acts the way she does.

Beautifully written in the viewpoint of the widow and with a good pace, the novel is delightful to read. The end of each chapter left me in suspense, speculating what could possibly happen next. The ending of the novel was shocking, but great, and felt complete.

Being born in Hyderabad, Pakistan had a great influence on Farooqi's writing. This influence is seen through the characters, in their customs, and their behaviour, even though the novel is set in Karachi, Pakistan. If you are interested in learning a little bit more about some Pakistani people, this book will do just that.

This hardcover edition is gorgeous. If you remove the paper slipcover, the book is light green with gold writing on its spine. The book is light, the size of the text makes it easy to read, and it is manageable to complete the novel in a day or two.
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Format: Hardcover
This is a wonderful book. I thought the characters were very well drawn and the story was engrossing. I even brought it to work to read at lunch time. Although it was set in Pakistan and reflected the values of Mona's society, it also has universal application. I thought the writer must be a woman because his main characer, Mona, was so believably written. The Story of a Widow has it all - sympathetic and believable characters and setting, humour and suspense. It will make a very good movie with the right script and actors. I will recommend The Story of a Woman to my friends.
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Format: Hardcover
The main character, Mona, is not drawn nearly as well as all the supporting and minor characters, including her dead first husband, her neighbour, her daughter's mother-in-law... This poses a great problem when we need to understand her motivations in marrying her second husband and standing by him through thin and thinner. I have a feeling that this book was published to ride on the wave of our current love of culturally rich stories. This is not a culturally rich story. It informs very little about life in modern Karachi, about being a Muslim widow of means. When I turned to the back jacket half way through the book and found out the author was male, I felt a bit foolish (and silly that I didn't know that Musharraf is a man's name). This is no Wally Lamb or Arthur Golden.
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