His entry begins:
As I teach for a living, I often have to re-read books that are a bit like friends one has known since childhood: one is fond of them, but sometimes dreads listening to the same jokes and anecdotes yet once again. So I won’t list those.About Just Another Jihadi Jane, from the publisher:
However, one old novel I had never read in the past, but have almost finished reading now is John Fante’s Ask The Dust. I came to it through Charles Bukowski, whose novels are old friends one does not mind listening to once again. Bukowski ranked Fante (little known then, and only a bit better known today), and this novel by Fante, as a seminal influence. I finally got down to reading it this week, and I can see why Bukowski thought so highly of it: it has the same grittiness as Bukowski’s work, and a spare but finely honed writing style, which appeals to me as well. Depressing at times – Fante sees human nature as even more vile than...[read on]
A novel about friendship, faith, and alienation, Just Another Jihadi Jane tells the tale of Islamist radicalization from the inside. Two children of Muslim immigrants in England's industrial north--thoughtful Jamilla and rebellious Ameena--become best friends, and find in religion and social media a community as welcoming and encouraging as their public education is estranging. After Jamilla's father dies and her brother marries, the two girls leave England and join the Islamist cause in Syria. The intellectual and emotional poverty as well as the violence they find there creates a story as gripping as it is heart-wrenching. As did All Quiet on the Western Front, Tabish Khair's novel reminds a new generation that heroism and sacrifice are not limited to one side in a conflict, and that the first victims of a murderous regime are those who live within it.Visit Tabish Khair's website.
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