Stranger to History. A Son’s Journey through Islamic Lands. Aatish Taseer. Stranger to History. download cover image. “Stranger to History is a. I met Aatish Taseer. in New York last year, at the prize-giving ceremony of the National Book Awards of the USA. (my wife’s book, The Convert. Stranger to History – A Son’s Journey through Islamic Lands by Aatish Taseer – ebook () published by Canongate 19 March The story of a .

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At an early age he writes a letter to his father and his father does not bother to reply back. Moreover, as an Indian who is enchanted with Pakistan but has no Through this memoir, Taseer manages to combine two narratives – steanger relationship with his father and the ‘idea’ of Islam in different countries.

It makes for an informative read but it is easy to lose interest owing to the melancholy tone.

Stranger to History: A Son’s Journey Through Islamic Lands

Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. I’ve read travel memoirs mostly by William Dalrymple and one can definitely see the ease with which Dalrymple weaves stories into his journeys seemlessly.

And the loss of exactly this is what makes Pakistan what it is today. These weaknesses perhaps say more about our publishing and reading culture than they do about Taseer.

There’s always a certain amount of meddling from the side-lines, and then there’s a child’s longing to know who he is, where he is really from.

And in “Distrust” he visits his father one last time on the day of Benazir Bhutto’s assassination. Answers are suggested – the formation of Pakistan resulting in the expulsion of the Hindu middle class resulting in a retreat to feudalism between landowner and peasant. According to the author, Muslims have a sense that Islam was once dominant in the world and they want to return to that state of affairs. There are no discussion topics on this book yet.

People with inadequate command over English in general, and unanglicized Indians in particular, are treated as human beings both in Amherst and in New York, a dignity that not many people are willing to accord to them in Delhi.

Stranger to History – A Son’s Journey through Islamic Lands by Aatish Taseer – Canongate Books

He is marked as such by his early circumcision, which for all he knew could yaseer as easily mark him as a Jew, but certainly it set him apart from his Sikh and Hindu cousins. Though nominally a Muslim because his taxeer was one, author seeks to establish in his mind just what Islam is all about.


It is older generations too, less jistory, more resigned, but still of the same mindset. Derived from his journey across Muslim lands, the book is rich with experiences and emotions and the underlying struggle of finding oneself. His father had married many times in the meanwhile and had children through all of them.

I had high expectations from this book, but it left me underwhelmed. As expressed by representative men in Turkey, Islam wants to dominate the world, where they are ready to grant the right to life to other religionists and perhaps nothing more.

Review: Stranger to History by Aatish Taseer | Books | The Guardian

The author clearly favors pluralism, with people of all po Taseer’s observations of people and places are engaging and his writing style hhistory me along.

Finally, what seems most obvious is the experience of the living; faith as lived history, history as lived history and culture as lived history.

I understand that feeling as well. He is the author of Stranger to History: It would also, he hopes, help him complete his own sense of self as a Muslim: On the way Taseer observes the “cartoon riots”, is interrogated by Iranian security officials and watches the response in his father’s Lahore home to Benazir Bhutto’s assassination.

There is no space in their thinking for how can we accommodate the modern world without forsaking our core beliefs, or sacrilege indeed could we accommodate those beliefs to a world that is not what it was. How much of what goes on in the streets and in people’s heads is genuine faith, how much of it is political ideology, how much just accepted tenets from traditional ways without thought or favour, how much of it — really — matters?

Of the countries he toured, Turkey and Iran present contrasts of a glaring nature. Fundamentalists always go by a feeling of victimization, a sense of persecution whether living in a Muslim society or not. It is all about power play, about a harking back to the glorious past. For example, the entire episode of Mango King — the Sindhi vaderahis abduction as a child and the mention of his court case seem redundant.

A frustration and negativity, pent up and stoked and expressed in violence just a couple of years in the future. I hisotry speak or write these words without unrest of spirit. Taseer asks, What is the nature and source of this faith that has become, in the modern world, so deeply politicized?

The one time the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan are mentioned, the word is bracketed between inverted commas, as if it were no more than a Muslim fantasy. Something tells me tha Aatish Taseer has an interesting background.


This quest for personal actualisation and an ethnic understanding ti both deep and compelling journeys and they ground this sometimes meandering, but never short of insightful book. Sep 26, Miriam Jacobs rated it it was amazing.

Atisb story of Ateesh Taseer was a fascinating mingling of personal history and that of Muslim countries. Jan 03, Divakar rated it really liked it. It is unfortunate that this more media-driven section for his assumptions and concerns here are those of the western media begins with him meeting the high-profile British “Islamist” Hassan Butt, recently exposed as a “professional liar” who told the media “what the media wanted to hear”.

It really is that simple. It is a good book that asks more questions than it answers. One of them says to Atish: There is a kind of you don’t understand!

Sep 14, Susan Ritz rated it really liked it Shelves: This is all the more significant now, as another dismemberment of the country in the form of Balochistan is on the cards.

Stranger to History is a remarkable book — touching, brave, honest, elegantly written and filled with political and historical insight.

It should, however, be thought only as a form of resistance to the regime of clerics and Basiji, the militia that enforces religious virtue, rather than due to any interest in Hinduism. I think this book is saying that a person can only be a Muslim if the father is a Muslim.

Though it is gross injustice to compare the two of them considering both writers are good in their own rightAatish could take a leaf from Dalrymple’s style taweer. At an early age he writes a letter to An autobiographical book by Aatish Taseer, the son of Tavleen Singh an Indian Journalist and Salmaan Taseer a Pakistani politician who worked closely with the Bhuttos. Thanks for telling us about the problem. This is go what the book is about: And Sind, for centuries so diverse, its culture and worship formed from that diversity, was for the first time in its history no longer a place of confluence.

It was a very different country then, oppressive in another way.