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presenting The Runaways: A Novel in conversation with LISA LUCAS
Harvard Book Store’s virtual event series welcomes FATIMA BHUTTO—author of the novel The Shadow of the Crescent Moon and the widely acclaimed memoir Songs of Blood and Sword—for a discussion of her latest novel, The Runaways. She will be joined in conversation by LISA LUCAS, Executive Director of the National Book Foundation.
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About The Runaways
Anita lives in Karachi’s biggest slum. Her mother is a maalish wali, paid to massage the tired bones of rich women. But Anita’s life will change forever when she meets her elderly neighbour, a man whose shelves of books promise an escape to a different world.
On the other side of Karachi lives Monty, whose father owns half the city and expects great things of him. But when a beautiful and rebellious girl joins his school, Monty will find his life going in a very different direction.
Sunny’s father left India and went to England to give his son the opportunities he never had. Yet Sunny doesn’t fit in anywhere. It’s only when his charismatic cousin comes back into his life that he realises his life could hold more possibilities than he ever imagined.
These three lives will cross in the desert, a place where life and death walk hand in hand, and where their closely guarded secrets will force them to make a terrible choice.
Praise for The Runaways
“As compassionate as it is trenchant, this rare fiction is an illuminating guide through the great disorder of our times.” —Pankaj Mishra
“Fatima Bhutto vividly renders the seductions of Islamic radicalization in such a way that we understand both its historical specificity and its universal roots in idealism and desire, rage and romance, youth and rebellion. Drawn from the headlines but plunging much deeper, The Runaways is a novel for our difficult times.” —Viet Thanh Nguyen
“Dazzling. A novel that holds up to scrutiny a world of claustrophobic war zones, virulent social media and cities collapsing upon themselves, and then sets it down again, transformed by the grace of storytelling.” —Siddartha Deb, author of The Point of Return